Dale Carnegie said “The only way to persuade anyone of anything is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.” Advertisers often take that advice a step further and talk about how people want to feel and show them how to feel that way.
Emotion is more persuasive than information. To get from facts to feelings, advertisers often use a technique called “laddering.”
- When I use Downy, my clothes feel soft and smell good.
- When my clothes feel soft and smell good, people like to get close to me and hold me.
- When people like to get close to me and hold me, I feel huggable.
So when I use Downy, I feel huggable—from facts to feelings.
The ad gives viewers a sample of the warm emotion of a hug. Intellectually, the ad manipulates viewers. It brings together people who feel strongly connected, has them talk about their feelings for each other, and asks them to hug. These aren’t exactly spontaneous moments caught on film. For viewers, the emotion outweighs the obvious manipulation. The ad associates Downy with the warm emotion of a hug.