The Most Impactful Advertising is Never Rational

2 min read · 8 years ago


In the advertising world, there’s a common trap, a comfortable safety net, that’s far too easy to fall into (or back on) when telling a brand’s story: focusing on the functional benefits.

This instinct isn’t unreasonable; in fact, it’s the kind of rational thinking that most people would classify as “sound business logic.” But when push comes to shove, customers are far from rational. In most contexts—especially when it comes to advertising—consumers are influenced primarily by emotion.

Marketing the Unmarketable

Knowing that consumers are irrational beings, it’s not surprising that one of the hardest offerings to market is the most practical of products: life insurance.

Life insurance should be a marketers dream; it’s the ultimate need. But despite it’s widespread necessity, buying life insurance is not like buying a car—it’s certainly not the topic of dinner party conversations.

It doesn’t require much digging into the human psyche to understand why life insurance is filled under “taboo;” it asks people to confront their mortality and put away their hard-earned (and after-tax) dollars for a time after their death—a preparation they will never reap the benefits of themselves.

So, then why do people buy life insurance at all? For the least rational and most emotionally charged reason of all: because they love someone.

Investing in Emotion

One of the world’s largest life insurance companies, Thai Life Insurance, recognized this truth; that the most basic of human emotions and concerns come from love.

Instead of allowing the future, functional benefits of its product to dictate its storytelling, the company has built a brand around emotion.

The underlying message of the campaign is simple, yet powerful:

Advertising efforts with a personal touch, like “Garbage Man,” are the ones that are the most memorable for audiences. This is representative of truly effective branding because it isn’t limited to the brand; it’s a branded message that serves as a catalyst for conversation and connections of all kinds.

Brands and advertisers can learn a lesson from Thai Life Insurance: the best way to convince consumers to make an investment is by investing in what they care about.

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: The Most Impactful Advertising is Never Rational

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