by Jeffrey Hedquist
You’ve probably done it - walked into a room and started humming different notes until you find one that is amplified by the room. The room acts like the body of an instrument and resonates.
In a way, we and our emotions are like that room. We feel happier when our emotions are similar to those of members of a group we identify with. We resonate with that group.
Laugh therapy, uses humor or even just the act of laughing to promote overall health and wellness. Laughter’s natural physiological process helps relieve physical or emotional stresses or discomfort and helps the brain regulate the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine and increases the production of anti-bodies and endorphins.
Laugh therapy works because the brain can't tell if we're laughing for real or faking it.
That may be why ads with smiling faces get better results than the same advertising content using serious or unhappy faces. Subconsciously we think we’ll be smiling too when we use the product or service advertised.
We want to be happy, and associate with happy people. There are comedians who might not get us to laugh if we were experiencing their performance alone, but when we’re in a club, surrounded by a laughing audience, we laugh more readily at the same performance. Very few of us laugh at funerals. The “audience” determines the mood of the event.
That’s why “laugh tracks’ are ubiquitous in television sitcoms.
That doesn’t mean that getting the audience for the commercial to laugh will work for every product or service, but if you can depict users as happy, and those users are part of a group that the target audience can identify with, you will have achieved resonance.
But we can’t do that with radio – or can we? Demonstrate the happiness of people experiencing your advertiser’s benefits - giggling kids, celebrating adults, contented pets.
Tell stories that show prospects that they could be like the people in the ad – happy, fulfilled, confident, strong, rich, famous, loved.
“This could be you” stories, told from a second person perspective invite the audience member to see themselves being happy – through the advertiser experience.
“Next Spring, you’ll open your front door to a bed of flowers – native perennials that will change with the seasons, bringing you colorful new vistas monthly – all because you planted the seeds this Winter. Midwest Harmony Gardens will show you how.”
What do your client’s customers want – to lose weight, learn a skill, be comfortable speaking another language, be free of pain?
Promise them happiness – a happiness that your client can deliver. Show them how their peers are enjoying the benefits.
Let satisfied customers deliver unscripted testimonials – just let them talk, tell stories of their experiences and edit what they say into commercials.
Listen carefully as you record. Guide the customer to talk about their transition from skeptic to advocate, their situation from problem to solution; maybe even instant happiness at their first experience with the advertiser.
Remember, specifics are much more believable than general comments. It’s more effective to have each message concentrate on one niche, rather than try to encompass all the wonderful client benefits in one commercial.
Help your client’s prospective customers resonate emotionally with the users of their products and services.
Got any other suggestions to make this technique work? Email me:
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