It was past 1:00 am and I needed to call it a night. Right before going to bed, I had to do a last check on my Instagram, like if the world depended on it… I’m glad I did.
Renowned research professor, Brene Brown had posted a message that felt like an invitation to disconnect… an antidote to the infamous FOMO (or Fear of Missing Out)
Today was one of those days that felt like I was living in the set of Logorama. For those, not familiar with Logorama, please take 16 minutes to check it out (after reading this post of course). Logorama is a short french animated film that won the Oscar in 2010 and utilizes elements of branding, such as logos and characters to tell their story.
Like in Logorama, today I could feel the saturation of messages trying to capture my attention, coming from all directions. This is the type of saturation that somebody like me, someone that’s used to work in media should be used to. But there are days that I just feel like rejecting everything that feels like a promotion. Mainly because these messages put my brain in overdrive. So many brands, products, and services trying to appeal to my emotions do not help in days like these, days of racing thoughts.
In the HBO documentary, The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, behavioral economist Dan Ariely, tries to explain why so many high profile people trusted Elizabeth Holmes (Theranos CEO), and invested in a company that now is recognized as one of the “biggest frauds in Silicon Valley”, as it states in the show description.
Ariely goes on to explain, and I paraphrase, that stories tend to stick in our mind because they have emotion. He continues “Emotions get people to do all kinds of things good and bad”, and goes on to analyze how people invested in her with very little information because they connected with her emotional appeal. Those investors believed in the story she was telling them. Dan Ariely adds that the investors were at the same time telling themselves a story. As if trying to say, that once they were involved, they were trying to convince themselves that it was the right decision when noticing the scam would have taken just a little effort.
The reason I bring this up is because of that phrase. “tell themselves a story”. Meaning that we get convinced to the point that we start persuading ourselves to believe in the messages that are conditioning us.
Brands, products, services, politicians are always trying to appeal to our emotions, and they do it to the point that we make automatic decisions without even stopping to consider the attributes of what’s being offer nor evaluate the functionality. They are going straight to our emotions and it seems to be working. Hence the reason there are so many people that vote against their own interests in an election.
And if we add, sensory marketing to the equation, and discover that there is background music playing in liquor stores to influence us into buying more expensive and unnecessary bottles of wine, or music playing to make our food taste better. Sellers pushing us to try on a piece of clothes because they understand the power of touching and the feeling of ownership.
Visuals such as packaging shapes that make us believe that we are getting a better deal, just as Keller details in his book Strategic Brand Management:
“Long after we have bought a product, a package can still lead us to believe that we bought it for a good value. First, most people believe the bigger the package, the better the price per ounce. Yet even the shape of a package can influence what we think. One study found that people believe tall narrow packages hold more of a product than short wide packages” – (Chapter 4 – Choosing Brand Elements to Build Brand Equity, page 141)
How about if we add to the formula the applications in our phones, triggering our dopamine levels while appealing to our love and needs of belonging? Saturated yet?
Well, tomorrow I might go back to the routine. Tomorrow I’ll put my storytelling armor, embrace my marketing passion…
Today I’ll combat FOMO and introduce JOMO, as Brene Brown recommended in her Instagram account: “JOMO: Joy of Missing Out. Feeling Content with staying in, and disconnecting as a form of self-care”
Let’s give a round of applause to the antonym of FOMO!