Shame Sells: How to Market New Product Launches by Evoking Emotion

By Christina Luppi
June 30, 2014
In this clip from the Harvard Business School presentation on how to market new product launches, Dr. Reid illustrates how emotion is critical for successful marketing, even for products that are largely commoditized.
Watch as this video evokes “shame” in the audience in order to sell lightbulbs.
>> DR. REID: Let me give you one more example, and then I’ll talk about the subconscious.
So, were doing these high-energy product launches—Apple, cars. And you might ask the question, “is it important for all products to evoke emotion?”
And the example that we tend to use to answer that question is lightbulbs.
Lightbulbs are a commodity, right? How do you launch a new product in the lightbulb market effectively? Well, you do it with emotion.
In this ad—I love this ad, it’s very short—Cree, which is the lightbulb maker, is going to evoke shame in you to sell their lightbulbs.
He said, “nostalgia is dumb,” but what did he really say?
“You’re dumb. If you don’t buy this lightbulb, you’re dumb.”
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