Updated: Apr 29
When your weeknight viewing is interrupted by TV commercials, at which point do you zone out? Is it when the overly eager voiceover harps on about pricing? How about when the promise of a warranty slams the screen?
Conversely, what intrigues you? To what do you pay the most attention? Is it a young child that calls out to you? Is there something that makes you laugh?
From ads to EDMs, the content that captures your attention usually has one element in common: emotion. Also referred to as green brain marketing, this marketing tactic draws on an emotional connection to spark intrigue and decrease buyer resistance, which is vital to building your community and driving profitable customer action. And today, with only three seconds to engage your audience’s interest, your brand must make this connection fast.
For context, here’s an example of a brand that tapped into the green brain of its viewers:
Red Brain (Left) vs. Green Brain (Right)
Red means stop; the sentiment is the same in marketing as it is on the road. Mentions of product, service features, instructions and price are red brain skewed and will cause your audience to overthink and investigate. Much like the effect of a red light, appealing to the logical side of the brain will compel them to halt, procrastinating decision making and increasing buyer resistance as a result. (1)
In other words, facts, data and analytical language will lead your reader down the multi-directional path of ‘what if’ and subsequently, they will look for reasons not to buy: Do I really need this? Is it worth the purchase?
Green brain marketing focuses on resonating with real emotions and genuine human experience. From imagery to language, content that appeals to your customer’s feelings, creativity and imagination will help to accelerate decision making, motivating your audience to go, like you would when the light turns green.
Words and visuals that excite, inspire and encourage peace of mind will stimulate your reader’s emotional senses, giving them greater reason to engage and travel further through the customer journey.
Apple: Make Someone’s Holiday
Essentially, green brain marketing aims to make you feel something, like this ad, for instance:
From the beginning of this commercial, we are confronted with images of family and relatable, real-life experiences. We are told a familiar story of sibling squabbles in the backseat, dinnertime chaos and household antics. All of these situations have one common solution: the iPad. But, at no point is the product or its features shoved in our faces. Instead, it’s blended seamlessly into each scene as the quick, simple fix to common problems families face.
Even upon conclusion, the product isn’t paraded to us, and there is no sharp interruption of a voiceover boasting about features or price. Instead, what we see is a holiday-themed logo and a soft slogan, ‘Make Someone’s Holiday’. Here, the closing sequence remains fluid and digestible – a sentimental ending to finally reel us in – so that our viewing experience is never interrupted with red brain thinking.
While emotional TV commercials are a primary example, there are plenty of ways you can embed green brain thinking into your digital marketing strategy. Here are our top three tips:
1. Watch Your Wording
Whether you’re building website pages or creating campaigns, review your content with an emotional eye. Change dull, red trigger phrases like ‘enquire here’ or ‘book a meeting’ to ‘get in touch’ or ‘let’s chat’. Instead of calls to action that direct customers to ‘click here’ or ‘submit now’, try softening the instruction to ‘let’s do this!’ or ‘send it my way!’.
Green brain marketing works not to dilute the definition of what you’re seeking, but to transform words to fit a friendlier, more conversational tone. Lining the entire customer journey with green brain language and imagery will help to lower buyer resistance, making space for positive engagement and buyer acceptance.
2. Know Your Audience's Pain Points
What is happening in your customer’s life before they come to you? What is their reason for finding you? Knowing your target audience is crucial for your social media marketing strategy, and green braining is no different.
Connect with your customer by striking their pain points so you can capture their attention quickly. Think real-life, relatable content, rather than sugarcoated or filtered experiences – like this ad here. (Language warning!)
3. Blend the Brains
Connecting with your prospects requires different tactics for different businesses, and often, your sales strategy will call on both, evoking the green’s brain senses while pre-empting the red brain’s concerns. So, what matters is how you balance the two sides to resonate with your target audience.
To follow this rule, try and pad every red brain appeal with greenery; how is your customer feeling, and how does this feature or service solve their problem?
According to Dynamic Business, the more senses you ignite, the greater the response. So, before you create that ad or campaign, think about which colour of the brain you’re activating.