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Once a brand establishes its Unique Experience Quotient (UEQ), illustrated in two earlier articles on this forum, it must seek the Inspiring Brand Connect (IBC), an endearing bridge between the content and the customer, by clearly identifying the core of the content as rational or emotional, building strategies, which are tuned to its essence, leading hopefully to desirable conversion. While conventional logic suggests that the emotional or rational core must be married to its identical brand connect, the ‘FIFA-Cannes’ theory insists that a switching approach will be more successful, emotions satisfied by rationality and rationality by emotions.

FIFA is an intensely emotional zone of content, whether you are a citizen of a participating country or a passionate neutral. We form sincere alliances with our favourite teams and players; from sovereign loyalties, historical affections or pure lovability. If asked to explain, especially for the non-qualifiers, there will be no analytical answers except an echo from the heart and not a snippet from the mind. Brands who seek a winning connect usually try to operate on a linear dose of emotion, drawing heavily from its core. This strategy is severely flawed, as no transaction brand can surpass the quality of the fundamental FIFA emotion, a better way to connect is pure rationality. Thus, a pizza maker or a bar offering attractive packages during the games, Uber or Ola, that promises to ferry the fan home safely, hotels that offer ‘Play-cations’ during this period or even a furnishings major that markets a customised FIFA-watching sofa for easy convenience. The possibilities are endless, but brands wishing to connect with intense emotional content must do so by offering provocative rational experiences, instead of piggy-backing on the emotion itself. Customers will be excited by the realistic tools to fuel their passion and form sustainable bridges with the provider.

The Cannes Advertising Festival, on the other extreme, is an intensely rational zone of content, the statistical tally of awards making tangible transactional difference to the fortunes of clients, agencies and individuals. While great work is appreciated, the noticeability or appreciation is reserved for the winners, the acquisition of a Lion worthy of a conversation with no real room for the able triers. Brands (organisations and individuals) seeking the inspiring connect with this festival, however, succumb to this trap of rationality, resorting to plain reportage of facts and not an identifiable emotion. In agency credentials the tally is coldly reported, in personal resumes or recruitment ads a similar approach is followed while even in client organisations, the sheer numbers are used to add stature. Now, for a moment, do consider if a purely emotional approach is used by any of the above to forge their unique connectivity with the ultimate festival of creativity. An agency or client recruitment video laced with the unbeatable emotion of being a world-beater, no less meaningful than the Aerolineas Argentinas advertisement, devised to attract the prospective writer as an abettor for her dreams. Applications for entry, from the designated media house, demonstrating the finest creator insight to make both business-head and creative-head find every extra rupee or inspiration to enter in maximum. Once again, the possibilities are endless but brands wishing to connect strongly-rational content with customers must choose the path of compelling emotion, instead of riding seamlessly on the blatant rationality.

If you were to quickly apply the above principles to the many domains of content marketing, encouraging opportunities would effortlessly emerge. A luscious holiday destination made accessible by exquisite offers, a knowledge conference being fulfilled by the seduction of a professional edge, the Durga Puja carnival in Calcutta converted to a feasible package by a tourism consortium or a dare-devil adventure sport escapade rendered reasonable by an operator with best-in-class safety measures. By rigorously ensuring that emotion partners with rationality, brands can effectively connect with content, as an inspiring and sustainable adhesive. Which will never be the case if brands blindly emulate the core of the content by adding just a further layer to the fundamental foundation.

Thus, the ‘FIFA-Cannes’ theory of Inspiring Brand Connect suggests that brands must fulfil emotional content through rational deliveries and satisfy rational stimuli through emotional gratification. The consumer can thus manage the journey from desire to action in an efficient and rewarding manner, leading to patronage, respect and affection for the brand. It is a coincidence that both FIFA and Cannes are currently live, but this approach will ensure that success for your brand is no coincidence.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)