The late and great WC Fields once said, ‘Never work with children or animals’, and while some may believe that to be good advice, you might want to think seriously about employing them in your advertising.

Emotion is a very powerful tool and using it to create a connection with the consumer is, in the long term, even more important than behavior triggering marketing tactics such as free trials and price-cut incentives. When your customer relates to the brand, rather than just to an offer, that is the basis for developing brand equity, which manifests as customer loyalty. Coca-Cola loyalists do not choose Coke over Pepsi by price. In fact, one way to look at brand equity is the degree to which customers will pay a premium for a particular brand, over the brand’s competitors.

For the creative team here at Mad 4 Marketing, evoking consumer emotion has always been a top priority, both in B2C and B2B markets. Experience shows that connecting emotionally has a quantifiable dollar value.

Think about the many forwarded emails featuring babies or animals that land in your inbox every week. People like the stuff. Truthfully, they go a bit nuts. There are even websites like Cuteoverload.com devoted to cute imagery where thousands of people go every day to get their daily dose.

While not the right note for every company, you just can’t deny that adorable images arouse our emotions. In doing so, they also help to build brands. Ameritrade cashed in on ‘cute’ with its series of talking baby commercials – one of the most popular spots of this year’s Superbowl. Geico also knows about the competitive advantage gained by cute things – not to mention that fact that cute things are memorable. Who could forget that cheeky little green gecko?  The brand equity associated with Geico’s gecko is $4.5 Billion. They’ve tried to repeat that success by personifying a stack of money in their new campaign.  By making a stack of money cute, it’s instantly recognizable. Brand awareness is a step on the path towards brand preference.

But whether or not puppies or babies are featured in your advertising, an emotional connection is key. A powerful, emotional bond with customers can take your relationship to another level. If you’re lucky, it could turn into one that makes consumers your own brand champions – advocates so passionate about your message (or the delivery of that message) that they actively broadcast or webcast it themselves by posting a link to a commercial on YouTube or on their Facebook page.

So, ask yourself, do your marketing messages communicate with your consumer on an emotional level?