Even though I’m a Disney fanatic, I can objectively say that The Walt Disney Company consistently develops some of the best advertising campaigns on television. From a technical standpoint, they could be used by any college-level marketing class as a road map for success in the industry.
While the ads they use across all business units (e.g. movies, consumer products, etc.) are tremendously effective, I think some of the best Disney commercials are the ones that promote their vacation destinations (e.g. the Walt Disney World Resort, the Disneyland Resort, the Disney Cruise Line, etc.). In those commercials, they understand how to create an emotional trigger without having a corny sales pitch.
For their most recent Disney Parks ad campaign, they featured the song “The Good Life” that was released by OneRepublic in 2010. If you haven’t seen any of the commercials in that particular campaign, click here for a sample.
So, what’s the big deal?
Yesterday, I was driving in my car and OneRepublic’s “The Good Life” came on the radio. When I heard it that time, the song sounded totally different to me. By connecting it to the Disney Parks commercial, it was like a whole new song.
I immediately shifted my thoughts toward the Disney Parks commercial and I could visualize the images of families enjoying their time together at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. I was literally playing that commercial in my head.
Once the song was over, I shut the radio off and started to reflect upon the memories of my own family having fun during our past Disney vacations. In other words, Disney was able to trigger a set of idyllic family memories from a popular song that gets played quite regularly on the radio. Brilliant!
Think Outside the Band
Average Joes like you and me obviously don’t have multimillion dollar ad budgets like Disney. Therefore, acquiring the rights to use a song from a chart-topping band isn’t in the cards for us. However, we shouldn’t let that discourage us from capitalizing on the concept of emotional triggers so we can strengthen our personal brands or the brands of our businesses. Here are some ideas that can help your customers identify with you on an emotional (and slightly subliminal) level without breaking the bank:
1) Make them look like a rock star to their family. Give them a gift certificate to the local movie theater, bowling alley, or even tickets to see Disney on Ice! Who wouldn’t want to come home after a long day of work and surprise their family with plans for a fun outing? As long as the gift is given with a genuine desire to help them have fun with their family, that has the potential to do wonders for your professional relationship with that customer.
2) Own a restaurant. You should have a restaurant where you regularly take customers for breakfast or lunch. You don’t have to literally own it, but you should be a regular fixture in there so that the staff treats you and your customers like family. Any time your customers end up passing by or dining at that restaurant on their own, the chances are good that you’ll come to mind.
3) Say thank you. A thank you card may only create a temporary connection between you and your customer, but they’re so rare these days that they can really have a substantial impact. Get nice cards and write a personal note on the inside.
4) Be a connector. Don’t be shy about making recommendations to your customers for their personal and professional needs. If they’re seeking candidates for an open position at their company, ask about their needs and try to find someone to recommend. If they moan and groan about their car’s reliability, tell them about the awesome mechanic that keeps your car running strong. When I interact with someone that was referred to me by a friend, I always feel a sense of gratitude for the friend that facilitated the connection.
5) Be a good storyteller. When was the last time you heard a joke that was worth retelling? (Probably when you were in the 3rd grade!) How about an awesome story instead? Your stories don’t have to be magical, mystical, or worthy of being animated in a full-length feature film. Business-related stories are very effective. When a customer retells your stories, the bond you’ve created with them will automatically gain tremendous strength.
If you have other ideas on how we can mimic Disney’s ability to create emotional triggers with our own customers, I’d love to hear from you!