The difference between evoking an emotion and a call to action

Each fortnight in Encore Adam Ferrier poses a question related to the media, marketing and entertainment industry.Adam Ferrier

Movies, films and television commercials have long been the masters of evoking an emotion. 

Wonderful. In fact I remember once being so stirred up after seeing the Muhammad Ali documentary When We Were Kings that I refused to go to the pub afterwards for a beer with my mates as I was so inspired to get fit. My friend then twisted my rubber arm and off to the pub we went. The emotion created by a nice piece of film (whether it be 30 seconds or three hours) has an incredibly short half life – it dissipates into nothing very quickly.

If the power of emotion is to get people to act then film doesn’t seem to be overly effective as rarely do we ask people to do anything with that emotion, and by the time we do the emotional engagement created has long disappeared.

My question is: ‘How can we use the emotion-evoking medium of film to actually drive action? Whether it be a TVC using emotion to generate a sale, or a film on human rights wanting people to respect difference – what can we add, subtract or lose from film content to get people to act?’

Adam Ferrier is a consumer psychologist and the founder of Naked Communications. Got an answer for Adam’s question? Email it to encore@focalattractions.com.au

Encore issue 5

This story first appeared in the weekly edition of Encore available for iPad and Android tablets. Visit encore.com.au for a preview of the app or click below to download.



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