Let’s presume that we have a client that sells honey and wants to increase the effectiveness of its Valentine’s Day promotions in print media. The current root message says:
“Don’t Forget Valentine’s Day. We have Delicious Honey at Great Prices”
This is an intellectual appeal, because it incorporates a price-message. Additionally, this message has two negative elements courtesy of the words “don’t” and “forget.” The word “price” can also produce a negative tone in consumers’ minds, even when predicated by the word “great”; as this sometimes infers lesser quality or service to compensate for the “great price” you’re getting. Finally, this message uses an “omega” tone which employs mental states of avoidance.
Since we’re dealing with an emotional event (Valentine’s Day), we’ll change this root message to have a base emotional value for greater impact:
“Remember Your Honey on Valentine’s Day. Nature’s Nectar for Your Sweetheart”
Both messages are about the same length of characters and both are comprised of two statements. But here’s the real difference:
The new message changes-out the previous two negative words and in their place, uses the positive word “remember.” The words “honey”, “nature”, “nectar” and “sweetheart” all have a positive valence (having an intrinsically positive effect in peoples’ minds). This is an imperceptible, but critical aspect of syntax that aids in message uptake. This message also employs an “alpha” tone of mental states of approach and acceptance.
If you’re interested in learning more about creating powerful and engaging messaging that inspires action, then you’ll love our whitepaper, “Engineering Consensus – The Syntax of Consumerism” at this link.
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Read Part 1 of The Syntax of Consumerism at this link.