Most normal (whatever that means) human beings don’t usually fall in love with inanimate objects. We fall in love with human beings, with all of their emotions and imperfections and insecurities.
We connect with great songs expose those deeply personal emotions, things you’d be reluctant to even tell your closest friends.
You can feel both the immense joys and dark fears of fatherhood in “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon.
Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” takes you inside the twisted mind of a troubled teen about to exact revenge on those who bullied him.
“Check It Out” by John Mellencamp laments the arrival of mid-life, when you have every material thing you want but “you can’t tell your best buddy that you love him“.
It takes real courage to write and sing stuff like that, to expose and share your fears, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities… the same ones all of us have but are afraid to acknowledge. Sure, we act like we’re perfect, but we’re all wonderfully imperfect, just like Seth Godin’s cool new book title… “We Are All Weird”.
Brands that expose some of those same imperfections are the ones who take that leap from inanimate object to human qualities.
The brilliant Chrysler “Imported From Detroit” campaign did that, acknowledging that American automakers had let quality slide and vowing to make owning an American car a thing of pride once again. It recognized what we were already thinking about American manufacturers and Detroit itself instead of trying to sell us something we didn’t believe. Truth is a very human trait.
The concept of making inanimate objects human isn’t new. Leonardo Da Vinci intentionally blurred the lines on his paintings, giving the Mona Lisa a sense of human imperfection and motion.
What is your brand doing to add human qualities to your business?
Are you being honest and real in your marketing? Do you sometimes expose flaws or admit obvious realities?
Does your advertising speak to people in real worlds, or cliches and ad-speak?
Do you speak with your customers, taking the opportunity to turn unsatisfied customers into lifelong fiends of your brand?
If you aren’t being human, you shouldn’t expect human beings to fall in love with you anytime soon.