Latest industry views and advice

June 30

In video marketing, what is the right mixture to get the viewer engaged in your product or service? The buying decision is neither solely logical nor solely emotional. In this guest blog post, Jon Mowat of Hurricane Media talks about how to bring together the customer’s head and heart, depending on what you’re selling and to whom: 

Understanding the interplay between logical information and emotive content is an integral part of the video marketer’s craft. By creating content that evokes a genuine emotional response in the viewer, whether that be humour, sadness, pride, awe, surprise or even arousal, video marketers are able to hook the viewer’s attention for long enough to then introduce their product or service (the logical bit).

Logical argument on its own rarely initiates action, but conversely it’s pointless to simply create videos that don’t attempt to convince or cajole people into buying into your product or service. It’s important therefore to understand and attempt to master the subtle art of seeding a rational message about your product or service into an entertaining and engaging piece of content that evokes an emotion. More often than not, this involves ‘wrapping’ the logical message into a piece of emotive content, something Jon Mowat at Hurricane Media has referred to as the emotion / logic/emotion (ELE) approach to video marketing.

Sounds simple right? Well not quite. The formula is a shifting one and the level of emotion employed, and indeed the type of emotion you are setting out to evoke, is one dependent to a large degree on your own industry vertical. A company in the tech sector for example might well rely more heavily on a rational hook as well as an emotional one. Compare this to the automotive sector, where selling cars is often as much about creating emotional attachment as it is rationalising about safety features.

What’s more, the ratios between emotion and logic shift from platform to platform; a Youtube video campaign might look very different from a television campaign or a series of Vines or Instagram shorts you put out. But for now, let’s concentrate on looking at different verticals and explore some of the factors to take into account when considering the emotion / logic balance you should strike in your next video marketing campaign.

Product Price

As a rule, the more expensive your product the greater the need for strong developed logical arguments. Like every rule of thumb mentioned here though, there are some exceptions to the rule and the automotive sector is a good example, with its reliance on emotional appeals to sell cars. This is largely down to the somewhat idiosyncratic emotional attachment so many of us have to our cars. Substitute cars for vacuum cleaners, for example, and we see that the focus shifts back to the logical (the same goes for many consumer electronics).


Dyson’s ads are almost purely based around the technology contained within the product itself. For a company with a reputation built on innovation this makes perfect sense.

Product Individuality

Most products and services are competing for our attention amongst a sea of competitors that, bar some minor differences, all do pretty much the same thing. When trying to carve out an advantage in overcrowded market verticals like this, emotional marketing works very well, as it creates identity around the brand as well as the product, thus creating the impression of brand individuality and as a result product superiority. This is flipped on its head if your product can be seen as having a legitimate sense of superiority over the competition, or your product is so fundamentally unique that it can be assumed there is no competition. It’s important to judge your product through the cynical eyes of the consumer and not the rose tinted glasses of the marketer before making this crucial self assessment.

Dominant Consumer Perceptions

As I’ve already alluded to, it’s important to gauge consumer perceptions of your product if you are to strike the right balance between logic and emotion in your video marketing and settle on the right kind of emotions to evoke. Understanding your consumers and how they react to your products and services is essential. Jimmy Choo shoes and Timberland boots are both footwear but they are on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of consumer perception and therefore the respective emotional and logical heavy approaches we should take to creating advertising around them.


Jimmy Choo’s advertising is anything but logical. In this example it’s actually downright surreal.

Innovative Products

The runaway progress and evolution of the tech sector has seen a slew of products hit the market that do things that have never been done before. The app market is a perfect example of this, as we are inundated with apps offering to solve problems that we never knew we had. The same goes for products that may themselves be familiar (like mobile phones) but which break new territory in terms of functionality or on board technology (such as the first smart phones or tablets). The less familiar your product is to the consumer, the more heavily you should be relying on using rational and logical appeals in your marketing.


Slack is clearly trying to revolutionise internal business communications through its app which is why there’s a lot of exposition and information in their marketing, which still retains a distinctly human appeal.

Significance to the Consumer

Could your product potentially change someone’s life? Could your service significantly improve the fortunes of a business or individual? Or are you simply offering a very tasty snack or an exceptionally smooth shave? Your product, and what it offers, might cause you to brim with pride, but gaining an appreciation of how significant it is to the consumer’s life is a key barometer as to what extent you should apply logical reasoning in your marketing. The more life changing a product professes to be, the more the consumer will want to be convinced of this through rational argument and logic.

Whilst it’s important to bear all of these rules of thumb in mind, perfectly balanced video marketing only comes from gaining a deep insight about your product, your potential customers and how these customers are likely to view this product and those of your competition. It’s important to step outside of the bubble of your own brand and employ a bottom up approach to your video marketing, where the consumer dictates how you should present your product and not the other way round.


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