BLOG: Appealing to feelings

Written by Talya Misiri
31/1/17

Greater engagement and attention can be gained by appealing to the population’s emotions, it has been suggested.

Speaking at last week’s Barnett Waddingham Annual Investment Conference, journalist and former political aide Alastair Campbell humoured the current state of affairs in global politics.

In an attempt to rationalise the new American president Donald Trump’s victory, Campbell explained that the new leader specifically catered to the voting audience’s feelings.

“In a reality TV world, we now have a reality TV president” he said.

Campbell went on to compare the two US presidential frontrunners’ campaign slogans “Stronger Together” and “Make America Great Again”, Hilary Clinton the former and Trump the latter.

While the first is something of a “nothing slogan” he suggested, Trump’s was the victorious of the two as it spread a message that hit home among the voting population. The message was able to evoke a feeling that evidently worked in getting US voters on side.

“People respond to feeling not fact,” Campbell explained.

Campbell’s key message is largely reminiscent of Sir Lenny Henry’s commentary at last year’s PLSA Annual Conference. Discussing how to encourage younger generations to engage with pension savings, Henry advised that “for the youngsters of today, humour can help get them on board with saving”.

Both essentially share the same notion that while cold facts can sometimes shock and inform, a better approach to engaging greater numbers of younger people to consider their pensions may be through appealing to their emotions.

Ultimately, it is possible to suggest that a simple but effective message surrounding pension saving is something that is needed to get more of the population on board and interested in saving for their retirement.

While the industry struggles to get younger workers to think about their pensions which has been somewhat pushed aside by newer savings products like the LISA… Let’s make pensions great again!

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