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Get Your Audience Involved Through Their Emotions

Last week I had the opportunity to do some brain storming with a new client. They were looking to create a promotion for their fitness center.  In my client's case the operative ad concepts were "pizza" and "fitness." My client was starting a new promotion with a local pizza company.  The headline of the ad was "Worried Your Pizza with End Up Here?" with several arrows pointing to a female cartoon figure's derriere. 


Initially there was some hesitation on the client's part to move forward with the ad.  It was a little risque and they were worried that someone might be offended. I made the suggestion that the client test the ad with fitness center members that were working out. Every person laughed out loud after reading the ad and nobody was offended. More importantly, it hooked the reader's interest!

When it comes to writing on the web or for promotional materials make sure you stand out from the crowd.  An easy way to stand out from the crowd is to engage your target audience's emotions through the words you use.

Involve Your Readers Emotions
Some of the most memorable writing I can recall made a connection with me through my emotions.  Even though it isn't being used to sell or promote a product, one of my all time favorite short stories was written by Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated describing a flight in an F-14 Tomcat. It engages a number of emotions and feelings all with words.  If you can be funny and connect with your audience in a meaningful way you are golden.  Look what Geico has accomplished with Geckos and Cavemen.

Remain Ordinary or Strive to Become Extraordinary
A friend of mine reminded me of an important business lesson emulated by top entrepreneurs. Being different is a catalyst for innovation and growth.  In his book, The Four Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss gives us a great axiom for being different. . .

Ask for Forgiveness, Not Permission.
"If it isn't going to devastate those around you, try it and then justify it. People—whether parents, partners, or bosses—deny things on an emotional basis that they can learn to accept after the fact. If the potential damage is moderate or in any way reversible, don't give people the chance to say no. Most people are fast to stop you before you get started but hesitant to get in the way if you're moving. Get good at being a troublemaker and saying sorry when you really screw up."

I'm not encouraging anyone to be vulgar, offensive, or demeaning with their writing or advertising. But be different! Use a conversational style of writing to better connect with your audience. Your high school English teacher might cringe, but it works. Too many businesses try to use "corporate-ease" to sound sophisticated. As a result readers get lost in the drab writing and never make a connection with the company, product, or service. Readers don't care what your product or service can do if you writing completely confuses them or bores them to death.

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