Emotional holiday spots are the way to build a brand in 2020

As the second national lockdown in England comes to an end, we are entering the time of year when even the most rational and number-led corporations make their attempt to connect with customers on an emotional level.

Video platform unruly has recently ranked major UK Christmas spots by their emotional resonance with audiences. As Disney and Coca-Cola are leading the industry, retailer John Lewis' spot "Give a little love" is ranked as one of the less emotionally intelligent ads, generating an intense emotional response from only one-third of viewers.

The socially acceptable Adland response around this time of the year is, “this is not how you build brands in this day and age.”

Let me tell you a secret: it is. Not in the sense of purely relying on a single TV spot, but in the sense of building emotionally intelligent bonds with consumers.

Carat's recent study of the most emotionally intelligent brands in 2020 reveals a strong correlation between a brand's EQ and its business performance. The world's 20 most EQ companies’ share price has overperformed major stock indices by hundreds of percentage points in the last ten years. Compared to lower EQ companies, the difference in shareholder value growth is over 400%.

Make no mistake: emotional intelligence is not the same as sentimentality.

EQ consists of five drivers – empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, and social skills. It's no wonder that brands like Coca-Cola and Amazon that have scored high across these measures in Carat's study have also produced some of the most emotionally resonant holiday ads of this season.

As the age-old truth goes, people will forget what you said and sometimes even what you did, but not how you made them feel. What separates emotionally intelligent and low EQ brands is, how they continue to keep this in mind even when the Christmas tree is taken down.

Download Carat's Brand EQ Report here.

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