About Face: The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising


Once advertising was all about being "on-message" and getting talking points right.  But breakthroughs in brain science have confirmed what we all know but don't often admit to in business: people are primarily emotional decision-makers.

About Face shows how 21st-century advertising can realize success by being "on-emotion" first and foremost.  Using data from eye-tracking and facial coding to analyze consumer responses, it demonstrates exactly which advertising ...

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About Face: The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising

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Once advertising was all about being "on-message" and getting talking points right.  But breakthroughs in brain science have confirmed what we all know but don't often admit to in business: people are primarily emotional decision-makers.

About Face shows how 21st-century advertising can realize success by being "on-emotion" first and foremost.  Using data from eye-tracking and facial coding to analyze consumer responses, it demonstrates exactly which advertising strategies are successful and why.  Moving beyond the old "P's" of product, place, and promotion, Dan Hill outlines ten rules for emotionally effective advertising, including:

·          Keep it simple
·          Make it relevant
·          Be memorable
·          Focus on faces
·          Always sell hope
·          Don’t lead with price  

Emotions rule decision making.  About Face shows that by focusing on the three new "P's" of passion, purpose, and personality, ad campaigns can become more effective and emotionally engaging, taking brands closers to the customer.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" There's a preparedness to embrace neuroscience and behavioral economics, and thus Dan Hill's lastest work is timely. Let's hope the new generation of creative people will take advantage of his many insights and practical recommendations." Hamish Pringle, Director General, Institute of Practictioners in Advertising and co-author of Brand Immortality

Recommended by CEO Refresher!

See an excerpt on the American Educational Foundation website!

Dan Hill and About Face mentioned in "For Brands, A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste" on Fox Business

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780749457570
  • Publisher: Kogan Page, Ltd
  • Publication date: 10/30/2010
  • Pages: 212
  • Sales rank: 1,031,437
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Hill is an authority on the role of emotions in consumer and employee behavior and an expert in facial coding as an aid in measuring people's decision-making process.  He is the founder and president of Sensory Logic, a scientific, research-based consulting firm that specializes in gauging and helping to enhance companies' sensory-emotional connection with consumers.  He has appeared on CNN, the Today Show, MSNBC, and Fox Business.  He is the author of Emotionomics, Body of Truth: Leveraging What Consumers Can't or Won't Say, and Face Time: How the 2008 Presidential Race Reveals the Importance of Being On-Emotion in Politics, Business and in Life. For more information on Sensory Logic view their newsletter. 

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Table of Contents


1          Get physical

            Orientation; Billy Mays and the gift of the gab; The variables of voice; Seeing what you can’t see; What has the most visual stopping power?; Going beyond sight and sound into additional media; Leveraging sensory contrasts; Creative templates that work well; Summary

2          Keep it simple

Orientation; How not to waste half your advertising; Engagement: what the financial stakes are; Advertising’s secret emotional cancer: frustration; Overcoming frustration through simplicity; Rules for word play; Summary

3          Keep it close to home

Orientation; Easy does it: the advantages of leveraging what’s familiar; Putting a new, improved twist on what’s familiar; The comfort zone: where the familiar is credible and easy to accept; Home is where the heartbreak is; Leveraging people’s preference for comfort; Taking into account people’s bias against what’s foreign; Summary

4          Focus on faces

Orientation; Why face are special: proof and four well-known reasons; Why faces are special: subtle factors highly relevant to advertising; From theory to practice: emotional responses to faces; True smiles versus social smiles: how heartfelt smiles differ from willed ones; The quest for authenticity; Criteria for casting appropriately and evaluating performance; Cold-hearted criminals also have cold minds; Summary

5          Make it memorable

Orientation; Did you see it? Recall measures as a house of mirrors; Explaining the answers: the gap between recall and how as retention works; Explaining the answers: why ‘Truth’ won and what it means for you; Three additional criteria for enhancing ad retention based on how memory works; How to avoid the risk of creating unbranded ads; Summary

6          Relevancy drives connection

Orientation; The categorical truth: never forget the WIIFM; Types of motivations: a serious case of wanting fun food; Being on-motivation is essential to effectiveness; Redefining industry categories as emotional markets; Relevancy created by identifying with emotions involved; Relevancy created by identifying with a brand’s personality type; Summary

7          Always sell hope

Orientation; Happiness, Inc.: leveraging the hope that springs eternal; The interrelated dynamics of happiness and hope: an advertiser’s checklist; A critique of three examples of selling both hope and happiness; Behavioral economics and the tension between hope and fear in advertising; The missing factor in selling hope: be true to your word(s); Summary

8          Don’t lead with price

Orientation; Cheapo-nomics: an example of ‘value’ advertising in practice; How leading with price can destroy a company’s marketing strategy; Problem 1: Lack of sustainability (surprise fades); Problem 2: Become numb to price (devaluing hope); Problem 3: Invites analysis (undercutting emotional engagement); Problem 4: Low-value perceptions (inviting contempt); Problem 5: A price focus distorts purchase choices (dissatisfaction results); Problem 6: Brand loyalty at risk; pride takes a hit; Problem 7: Brand integrity at risk; desperation detected; In contrast, three real solutions to economic hard times and price/value wars; Summary

9          Mirror the target market’s values

Orientation; Why empathy has become marketing’s new touchstone; The struggle to create authentic dialogues: welcome to executive blogging; The battle of sexism: offensive gender portrayals; The rise of a creative class outside the advertising agency structure; Cause marketing: a way to neutralize critics and make new friends; Summary

10        Believability sticks

Orienation; The battle between belief and pervasive skepticism; Defining the types of advertising; What type of advertising is most emotionally persuasive?; Time for analysis: what are the implications of these various results?; The two ends of the spectrum for creating persuasion; Familiarity: what we know and like, we trust; Fairness versus desire: fulfilling on practical needs or wants and dreams; Fairness: why humility and specificity work wonders; Desire: it’s all about the three Ps of passion, pleasure and purpose; Consistency: nobody’s won over by fickle companies and mono-emotion actors; Summary



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  • Posted November 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Scientific explanation of emotional advertising

    The advertising industry is making a transition from creating ads that are "on-message" to producing messages that are "on-emotion." An emotional connection generates sales, in part because the consumer's overall brand experience carries more weight than a company's slick marketing message. Author Dan Hill - an expert in "facial coding" - has gleaned 10 essential rules for producing advertising that resonates with consumers. Hill brings new insights, providing marketers with a better understanding of what they must to do evoke emotional responses. getAbstract recommends this text to marketers and salespeople and to those intrigued by the facial analysis used in the TV series "Lie To Me."

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