The Power of Pathos
Have you ever thought about what type of ads appeal to you most? I always tend remember advertisements that are funny, sentimental, or sad. Ronald Smith explains it like this:
As humans, we rely heavily on our feelings, and effective communicators take this into consideration. An important part of the strategy of public relations and marketing communication is to link the message to an emotional appeal, either positive or negative.Ronald Smith, Strategic Planning for Public Relations, pg. 277
5 Bridges is an organization with an emotional foundation. The CEO and founder of 5 Bridges has the ability to share his own story to help others. Naturally, the business lends itself to emotional appeal because it is dealing with heavy subjects like mental illness and health disparities. This means it is important to be sensitive to the public as well.
This 2014 Chevy commercial is a great example of appealing to emotion. One reason it does such a good job is because the audience can probably relate to the idea of having a puppy grow old, which evokes strong emotions. Although a puppy doesn’t have anything to do with pickup trucks, it leaves a memorable impact on viewers.
For an up and coming business like 5 Bridges, a great way to connect to the public is through social media. TikTok has increased significantly in the past few years and is a great tool for businesses to grow awareness (Battisby, 2021). Allison Battisby states in her article that TikTok set the record for most downloads in a quarter year at 315 million downloads the first quarter of 2020 (Battisby, 2021). This exponential growth has the potential for exponential awareness increase if used correctly. Applying pathos messaging on an app like TikTok is important for 5 Bridges to experiment with.
A strategy that could help 5 Bridges gain awareness is having a strong tagline. 5 Bridges current tagline is “wellness for all”. This sounds too general and broad to me and I believe coming up with a more distinct tagline could differentiate the organization from competitors.
Charles Gaudet outlines how to write an effective tagline in his Forbes article. He says a good tagline emphasizes a business’s unique characteristics, which he calls “unique advantage points” (Gaudet, 2014). If I heard the tagline “wellness for all”, I would not know what organization it was attached to.
Some of the most infamous taglines are from brands like Nike, McDonalds, and Allstate. If someone said “just do it”, your mind will probably go to Nike first because of how connected to the brand the phrase is. That is the result of a good slogan.
5 Bridges has a unique system and history. By digging deeper and incorporating the unique aspects with its mission of wellness for all, there is potential for a powerful slogan that can set 5 Bridges apart from competitors like Headspace and Calm.
I found this article by Brands by the Heart interesting because it shows the evolution of large business’s taglines over time. According to the article, Nike’s slogan started as the classic “Just do it”, but it changed to “I can” in the 90’s for a short period of time before it changed back to “Just do it” (Brands by the Heart, 2018). Even the most successful brands have to adjust to the ever-changing audience they appeal to.
Battisby, A. (2021). An in-depth look at marketing on TikTok: Blog: Online digital marketing courses. Digital Marketing Institute. https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/an-in-depth-look-at-marketing-on-tiktok
Gaudet, C. (2014, June 18). How to craft a powerful tagline for your business. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2014/06/18/how-to-craft-a-powerful-tagline-for-your-business/?sh=611cd2e5136c
Smith, R. D. (2020). Strategic Planning for Public Relations (6th Edition). Taylor & Francis. https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/books/9781000201468
Brands For The Heart (2018, August 13).Then and now: Businesses that changed their taglines. https://brandsfortheheart.com/articles/now-businesses-changed-taglines/