Humans are social creatures and most are hardwired with the desire to attract the opposite sex. According to Roy Garn, in his groundbreaking book, “The Magic Power of Emotional Appeal,” romance as an emotional appeal consists of sexual attraction and our desire for marriage or future promise. When we talk about romance, we are talking about an emotional connection rather than a sexual connection, which is related more to self-preservation.
I read news articles every day on various internet news sites. At the bottom of many articles are a bunch of taglines that push the romance trigger. While I might be reading an article about a presidential hopeful or something related to the economy, many published articles include links at the bottom with taglines like “10 Ways to Look Younger” and “Five Foods that Boost Testosterone.”
A recent Go Daddy Super Bowl ad featured a sexy woman and nerdy guy to evoke the romance trigger. Not to leave women out, A Kraft Super Bowl ad included a shirtless man making a salad with Kraft Zesty salad dressing. We are surrounded by ads that try to appeal to us romantically.
There is a story about a jewel thief that used her sex appeal to distract male jewelry salesmen. She would show up in a revealing blouse and ask to see a diamond ring. After the salesman unlocked the case and showed her the ring, she would lean on the counter to give the clerk a better look at her cleavage and while he was distracted, she would replace the real diamond ring with a fake one. She only got caught when a salesman was so preoccupied with his back pain that he was not affected by her sex appeal. He noticed the diamond switch and hit the security alarm.
Romance is a prime trigger that can unlock and push out all other preoccupations. In another story, a photo studio was losing market share to a bigger competitor because they could not match their competitor’s prices. The studio owner was almost ready to close his doors when he noticed that about ½ of all the women coming in for portraits were unmarried since they were not wearing a wedding ring. One day an unmarried woman came in and asked, “How much for a portrait package?” Before answering the question, the owner opened a drawer and pulled out 4 pictures and said, “Do you know why they call us the lucky photographers?” Turing over the pictures one by one, he said, “These girls came in for portraits and in less than a year they were all married.” The photo studio owner clearly appealed to a future promise of romance to drive up sales.
How can you use the emotional appeal of romance to interrupt your potential customer’s preoccupation and focus on your marketing message?
Before you leave the topic of emotional appeals, be sure to check out the other 3 emotional appeals, Roy Garn discusses in, “The Magic Power of Emotional Appeal:” money, self-protection, and recognition.
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