Tue, January 15 2013

The incredibly simple, science-driven way to connect and compel

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Fun stuff • Marketing essentials •

Our brains are actually hard wired to relate to other people’s experiences.  When we witness or imagine someone acting, our own neurons fire in the same way they would if we were undertaking the same action.  That’s why your heart races when your favorite athlete soars toward the football or you feel fear and sorrow watching a mother struggling to save her child from flood waters. 

When we translate that empathy into helping another person, we have another reaction in our brains:  We’re rewarded with happy feelings, thanks to a chemical dose to our brain’s pleasure center.  I like to imagine (and there is some evidence) that the human race is somehow designed to commit to each other and accomplish great things in concert.  I’ll give you an example.  Watch this video and think about how you feel.  It makes me happier - and kinder. 

In this ad, Coke has connected to these deep rewards of generosity.  The purpose of this post is to ask, if Coke is doing it, why the heck aren’t you?  Why aren’t you making people as happy as you could by making visible the acts of kindness that you commit every day, all day, at work?  You can and should awaken these feelings in the people you want to move to action. It’s not manipulation.  It’s being human.

Please think about this clip and how your cause could be its star.  The next time you send something a message out to the world, make sure:

1. It tells a vivid story of someone doing good
2. It shows the reaction of the person helped
3. It inspires the rest of us to do the same

This is the incredibly simple, science-driven way to connect and compel.  And Coke shouldn’t be the only one doing it.

You can and should, too.

  • Comment: (4)   


Love this commercial and post!  The commercial connects on so many levels.  I work with churches - and if we (the church) could clearly evidence the amazing things it does in the community (just like Coca-Cola!)...wow - it could change the world!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/15  at  11:39 AM

I discovered your blog last week and now check it every morning. Thank you for inspiring me to be better at my job!

Posted by Ashley Mastin  on  01/15  at  11:46 AM

LOVE this video, but I can’t stand the icky feeling I get knowing that Coca-Cola has such a bad track record of actually caring for the people who live where it is produced. The monopolizing of water resources to make soda is just the beginning. HOWEVER, there is no denying the brilliance behind this campaign and what we can learn from it. I would love to happen upon one of those swings. smile

Posted by Esther Landau  on  01/16  at  11:09 AM

I agree with everything that’s said in this piece, and I like the commercial, but frankly I really dislike the way a company like coca cola claims the “random acts of kindness” phenomenon and tries to manipulate me in order to make me associate good feelings with coke. Without wanting to be negative, something more needs to happen before we can see all big enterprises as do-gooders

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/28  at  06:39 AM

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