Bart van WanrooijWritten by Bart van Wanrooij, managing director The Oval Office Nederland

A rational animal

Marketing communication has always been about emotion. We may think that man is a rational animal, but that rational part is only skin-deep. In fact, we are driven by emotions. It is assumed, for instance, that up to 95% of all purchase decisions take place in the subconscious. And in their widely acclaimed "Marketing 3.0" Kotler, Kartajaya and Setiawan state that ‘the decision to buy and be loyal to a brand is greatly influenced by emotions’. Be honest now - why did you buy your car? Because of its reliability? Its performance? Or...? And which supermarket do you frequent? 

Easier to believe and remember

More often than not rational arguments, the reasons why we think we buy something, are only a justification in retrospect. That’s why campaigns, live experiences and events that engage us emotionally work better than those that don’t. They get a closer look and a closer read, but more importantly: they are easier to believe and remember. Thanks to evolution.

Hidden in our DNA

Evolution has taught and trained us to survive by actively and immediately responding to our environment. Instinctively. Emotionally. Without giving it a second thought. Sometimes it has even made the difference between life and death. This may not apply to buying a car or selecting a supermarket, but the learning process is still firmly rooted in our DNA. Therefore, adding emotions to a campaign or live experience heightens our memory retention, the mental faculty that enables us to retain and recall previously experienced sensations, information, and ideas. 

A new challenge or business as usual?

Enter corona. 

All of a sudden our civilisation was turned upside down. All of a sudden a major threat was omnipresent, challenging us to immediately respond, to switch to survival mode and to entirely focus on the new situation. Instinctively. Emotionally. What could be more important than that? 

For marketing communication professionals this meant a challenge too. Because campaigns needed to be adapted, or were sometimes postponed or entirely cancelled. But above all, because we were all focussed on something else, on a matter of life and death. How, in the time of corona, can marketing communication engage audiences with your brand, product or service? Exactly. By sticking close to what drives us. Emotions.

 Challenged? Download our key insights to see how you can add an emotional impulse to your campaign.


A shared view

At The Oval Office we firmly believe in this driving force. And we are extremely happy that most, if not all, of our clients share this view and challenge us to create work that brings laughter, joy and happiness. And therefore: more engagement and commitment.



Leave your contact details and download our key insights to see how you can add an emotional impulse to your campaign.