Too often, we hear that we have to use the latest in marketing research, cheap advertising tricks, and other forms of consumer manipulation in order to effect change. But the changes being effected by such methods are generally skin deep. If we want to move people to real and permanent effect, the models we should seek are models from storytelling, from art, from the great social justice movements of history, and even... from a beautiful song.
This is not just the sentiment of a lover of music (which I am). There is actually an established science to the question of, What makes a great song? And many of the elements of a memorable song are also elements of an inspirational campaign. Powerful contrasts between highs and lows. (The message must be as accusatory of the target, as it is supportive of allies). Tension built up through anticipation. (Build up momentum and interest through small steps, that culminate in powerful actions.) The energizing effects of surprise. (Catch the target, and public, off guard.) And dissonance caused by conflict. (Dramatize the issue by creating a good v. evil dynamic.)These are the elements that move us, in song, and they are the elements that move us to action, in campaigns, too.
So when someone asks us, what are you trying to achieve? Don't answer with dollars and cents, or supply and demand. Don't talk of advertising research and consumer marketing tricks. Answer, quite simply, that our goal is to make the people's hearts sing, with a new sort of song. A song for the liberation of all animals.