So I watched the movie Greyhound while riding the exercise bike.
It stars Tom Hanks – who also wrote the screenplay! – as the Captain of a Navy Destroyer escorting a convoy across the Atlantic during World War II.
The stakes are high, there is real danger a couple poignant deaths and in the end the hero saves the day.
Basically Saving Private Ryan on a boat. Except this time Tom Hanks gets to live.
Why did I watch it? I knew what it was before I watched a minute of it.
In terms of emotional triggers, it would give me the following:
- ESCAPISM – a chance to zone out from my problems.
- FANTASY – environment to imagine I was a part of.
- HERO WORSHIP – rooting for the hero cements the experience.
- PROJECTION – imagining what you would do at critical junctures.
- EXCITEMENT – the drama of danger keeps you engaged.
- IDENTITY – WWII movies have been part of my diet since childhood.
- NORMALCY – patriotic heroism is comfortable and known.
- RESOLUTION – a satisfying ending is expected at the end of the film.
Our premise with THE MANIPULATION program is that people buy their own emotions, over and over again when making consumer choices.
In the simple case of deciding what movie to watch while exercising, I chose a title that would allow me to experience multiple emotional triggers that are comfortable and normal to me.
And because this is a mass-market product, it satisfies the triggers of many other consumers. Some of them I don’t share, such as nostalgia, because I don’t have any familial history with WWII, or the Navy or Merchant Marine. Nor do I have a hatred of WWII-era Germans, which would be another trigger for people to consume this film.
For marketers, we present MANIPULATION to study emotional triggers, to understand them, and then to use them to sell their own products.
As far as the triggers related to the movie Greyhound, what we are going to find in this publication is that they apply to all kinds of products in all categories.
One way of looking at marketing is that it is not about the product at all but pulling the emotional triggers of the audience – especially the ones that make them buy.
And once you come to fully understand how these triggers work, and can use them at will, your marketing will literally become a machine that turns dross into gold.
Let us begin.