Summary of About Face

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  • Scientific
  • Eye Opening
  • Innovative


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 do to 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.

About the Author

Dan Hill is author of the bestseller Emotionomics about facial coding analysis. He founded the research consultancy Sensory Logic, and he is an expert on facial coding and the role of emotions in marketing.



Make an Emotional Connection

A television commercial begins with several beautiful women in colorful dresses swaying to an upbeat rhythm. At first glance, you might think that this commercial for a diet drink is right on point. Research proved it was not. When middle-aged women watched the spot, they didn’t feel uplifted; they felt depressed. The tagline, “Pump it up,” made them feel inferior to the lithe women in the ad, whom they assumed spend hours at the gym working on their perfect figures. The commercial’s target group felt excluded and sad.

Although the TV spot was “on-message,” it failed to be “on-emotion.” It never made an emotional connection with its target viewer. Research shows that emotionally engaged consumers are more likely to buy a product than those who merely know about it. This failure to connect emotionally might explain why so much advertising fails. A quote attributed to both William Hesketh Lever and John Wahhamaker says that half of all advertising is wasted, but marketers don’t know which half.

Researchers have learned to identify consumers’ emotional reaction to advertising through “facial coding,” a noninvasive technique that experts...

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