A few days back I received a small package containing a scarf with a letter from TOMS founder, Blake Mycoskie. The message is simple, for every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for one.
TOMS Shoes is ready to kick off the "Shoes" in its brand identity, rebranding with a campaign (which we previewed in March) dubbed "What's Your Next Chapter?" that will be unveiled in a series of events with its partners across the US tomorrow.
Marketers caught on early that emotion sells product. "Would your husband marry you again?" screams a Palmolive ad from 1921. (Not unless you scrub with Palmolive soap, honey.) Today, Heineken has promised warmer international relations via handoffs of Premium Light from mountain men to Indians to ballerinas. And, of course, Axe has sold young men on the fantasy of hooking up with deodorant-loving nymphomaniacs. Emotional appeals are ubiquitous. They're also interchangeable. It would be just as easy to pitch Heineken as an aphrodisiac and Axe as a global harmonizer ("Peace starts in the pits"). And that's the problem: It's all stick-on emotion. Sometimes that works brilliantly (see: Corona). Other times, it's as weird and clumsy as an adhesive moustache -- remember Carl's Jr. and Paris Hilton's sexed-up hamburger ad? Fortunately, there's a better and more sustainable way to create emotion: Mean it.