Make Them Feel

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People have a need… a want… to feel something.

It’s incumbent on Marketing to make people feel something because if you don’t move them with your messages, they won’t make a move to do anything for you, your brands, your products or your services (this includes buying from you and telling others how great you really are). When I present, I usually wrap-up with a well-known video. It’s the endearing story of Juan Mann and the video "Free Hugs" (you can see it below). The video is moving. No matter how dead inside you may be, it’s hard not to put a smile on your face or even spread a smidgen of warmth to some of those colder areas when you watch this video/movement unfold.

Does your marketing make people feel something?

In the grand scheme of things, people don’t hate marketing and they don’t despise advertising. What people hate is bad marketing and they despise bad advertising as well. Decades have been spent trying to quantify and qualify what might be considered "bad marketing" or "bad advertising" and there are more event and award galas to celebrate the best of the best in marketing and advertising than you can shake a Cannes Lion Award at.

But did you make them feel something?

Putting awards aside and putting aside the fact that people will PVR past a lot of advertising, why is it that some TV spots that are placed on YouTube get millions upon millions of views? In a world where people claim they would skip over commercials or prefer not to have them present in the first place, why are millions of people flocking online to actively search out these same commercials, watch them, rate them and discuss them… in droves.

We are creative and spiritual machines.

If more Marketers focused on feeling, emotion and attempts to stir the human condition, more and more people would not only embrace advertising and marketing, they would actively seek it out (in fact, going back to the YouTube example example, they already are). Marketing fails when the final product is produced like any other cog from any other random factory that produces boring cogs.

Push for feelings.

We’re all going to be trapped as Marketers. Whether it’s by conservative clients, limited budgets and/or business objectives that don’t provide any semblance of clarity, but it’s our job to turn those perceived limitations into an opportunity. Because if somebody in the food chain of the brand and agency isn’t whipping out the microscope trying to uncover why the consumer will care and what the campaign or initiative is going to make them feel, all is lost.

How does that feel?


  1. Even wrapping up this blog post with this video makes a difference in my perception, WOW! Great way to prove a point Mitch.
    To your message here, I do believe that much of my marketing efforts has a “feel” to it. I’m basing that largely upon the fact that I can see and hear my guests feeling something and being moved to “do”, mostly evident in their willingness to tell stories about their experiences with us. Sometimes though, the challenge is figuring out what exactly it was that motivated them to feel and do. I usually just resort to asking them.
    Thanks for doing what you do.

  2. Hi Mitch, Thanks for reminding the message again as it’s all about being human and if whatever the marketers around the world do is to generate human intent towards their offerings, it becomes inevitable to understand what touches people and what makes them use a blocker. The video is awesome and so are the posts on this blog.
    It feels good to use creativity to move emotions, guess that is where the new breed of marketers lie being far away from those big awards.

  3. Thanks Mitch,
    this shows that marketing and advertising is not a question of selling anything, but much more a question of changing lives and helping people FEEL better.
    Thanks for this

  4. Thanks for this, Mitch, but much more depressing for me is that *education* isn’t going for feel, either, despitethe brain scientists telling us: we pay attention to that which we feel, and we remember that which we feel.
    And though I agree with what you’ve said here about marketing, when I teach teachers, I point to advertisers and marketers as an example of a group that’s doing a WAY better job of provoking “feeling” than educators (though I refer to good filmmakers as the best example).
    We look long and hard for secret clues to getting people to feel, but most of us can simply look at ourselves for examples. We may not all have the same degree of interest in the specifics of any particular product, but as you demonstrate with the “Free Hugs” video — some attributes are nearly universal. Or, as one friend put it, “I like that because I have a pulse.”

  5. Thanks Mitch. Great post and I love the video! Agree with you – it has to be all about making the customer care and tapping into brand emotions and emotions about the brand – not producing, as you say, a brand which effectively is a ‘cog’ just like any other cog.

  6. Great post…Loved the Free Hugs campaign and the insight that people don’t hate all ads & mktg, just the bad, like in everything. Thanks for sharing

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