Feeling Good is the New Shock Value

By now, we’re all familiar with the side-effects of negative advertising campaigns – overwraught information control, nationwide health problems, stereotyping, the list goes on.

In fact, we know more about the effects of negative advertising than about the effects of, for lack of a better word, “Lovertising.”

However, psychological studies have proven the advantages of positive reinforcement over negative reinforcement. If, after performing a trick, a dog is rewarded, he’s far more likely to do it again. But will a dog do the same trick if he’s beaten when he is *not doing the trick? Imagine his quandry: he lives, breathes, plays, eats, yet is beaten — without context — with the desired result of “the trick.” He doesn’t know what “the trick” is, he only knows that he has to keep doing different things, anything, to stop the beatings.

“Lovertising” is a new way to approach business-consumer relations, and is well-illustrated by the following home-made ad. Created by “xgeronimo” – a youtube alias – the clip’s tagline reads, “We demand respectful/intelligent anti-smoking advertising instead of subhuman/shocking advertising.”

We like the idea of respectful/intelligent advertisting as a reaction to subhuman/shocking advertising. Not only are consumers more likely to respond to respectful, positive reinforcement, but respectful/intelligent advertising has little to no negative side-effects.

This absence of cynicism is the next wave of brand messaging. People are sick of being jaded. Feeling good is the new shock value.

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