Those who run with a gang and hold allegiance based on street name or postcode; those with little or nothing to lose or live for; those who willingly risk everything by smuggling drugs into prison; kids who would rather set fire to cars than go to school and learn to read – these are all examples of hard to engage audiences.
They are tuned out, don’t trust others, think the world is against them or judging them, many times they have had a hard start to life and learned that the only people who will look out for them are those who behave the same.
But if the saying “give me the boy at 7 and I will show you the man” was entirely true, how can we explain those people who have found a different way? Those who turned their lives around and made a new path for themselves; people like Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Barack Obama.
Conditioning is a strong psychological force but it is not impervious to new messages.
Marketeers rely on 5 main emotional drivers:
These are the levers in all of us that they manipulate to get buyers to choose Adidas over Nike, Samsung over Apple. We cut through these to find the one simple key emotion that our hard to engage audience will understand.
Our successful anti-smuggling campaign capitalised on the undeniable love a mother has for her child. Using this we were able cut a path through all the other noise and get the attention of our target market for long enough to deliver an essential message. (See our project Zero Tolerance – Who’s the Loser to find out more about this campaign.)
Once we have that interest, we have a short period of time to increase the attention span and instigate change. We have to show that there is a better way with benefits that are relevant to their lives, not ours.
We don’t tell them how, instead we show them the way. We create a path from both sides until they meet in the middle.
We have sat down and talked to people who are drug addicts, alcoholics, homeless, prisoners, young people with no job, education or hope. We have listened and we have created change.