Use the Heart – The Power of Guilt Marketing

The goal of every advertisement should be to create an emotional connection with the viewers. The Ad should be so remarkable that it is not just a moment in this persons day but more of an experience. Remarkable advertisements and remarkable campaigns spread . They are filled with emotion and as a result people believe its worth sharing with their friends and community. We love to share an experience that make us laugh, feel inspired and proud. But why do we feel the urge to share guilt?

Guilt is an emotion that we learn consciously and unconsciously from our parents, society or faith.  Growing up we seek out approval and are taught to always be accountable for our own responsibilities. As a result, we often take responsibility for things that are not directly our fault. This tends to just be human nature

Powerful advertisements and campaigns result in us feeling guilty that people around the world are suffering. So guilty that we feel the responsibility to share this information with others and ultimately hope that they do something about it. Whether that something is sharing a video, giving a friend a pamphlet, donating money or simply changing their Facebook status to a color; it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that, at that moment – that person did SOMETHING. And to them, that was enough.

UNICEF has been in the Guilt Game for years. They have kids go house to house with boxes at Halloween, knowing that it’s close to impossible to say no to a kid (especially if you’re a woman.) One thing about UNICEF is obvious. They sure know how to make people feel guilty. And I’m not saying it’s a bad thing! It’s actually genius; I applaud UNICEF and the agency behind this campaign 100% for making such a powerful message for such an overlooked problem.

Several brands have successfully become successful by riding the coattails of Guilt. When you buy frozen food for our kids you convince yourself that its better than Mac and cheese. If we buy a frozen dinner that was originally cooked by a lady named Michelina we feel like we’re actually good parents. We feel as if our kids are getting a full course meal filled with all the nutrients they need to grow big and strong.
That’s not logic talking, that’s the emotion we call guilt.

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