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Sainsbury's Mog the cat
Caption: Sainsbury's Mog the cat

I don’t watch much TV in real time these days, so I often fast forward adverts which is by far the biggest advantage of the digital age as far as I am concerned. However at this time of year advertising transcends to a whole new level. Newspapers, social media and pretty much everyone is talking about the big Christmas ads. I actually went out of my way to watch them, seeking them out on YouTube. I suppose my role here at FMB means I tend to take an interest in trends in brand and advertising so I may have a professional curiosity, but I think it is fascinating the way it has played out this year.

Personally, I felt John Lewis came out on top last year, ticking all the usual boxes with the delightful story of the boy and his penguin while Sainsbury’s took some criticism for cashing in on the WW1 centenary. This year, in all honesty, I find the lonely man on the moon for John Lewis too maudlin. For me, Sainsbury's Mog the cat comes up trumps in the festive ad stakes; pushing all the right emotional buttons while also perfectly showcasing Sainsbury's products. I think at Christmas time we're more prepared to accept this heartstring-tugging whereas we might be more cynical at other times of the year.

Getting the balance between eliciting emotion and selling the benefits of your service or product is a tricky balancing act. Financial services are not an impulse buy; people think long and hard before deciding on whether they need a financial planner, let alone which one they would like to work with. We need to make sure we tap into the emotional reasons people need us; it will give you peace of mind, it will give you financial confidence, it will help you get more out of life. However, we also need to give the hard facts people need to evaluate our service; what qualifications do you have? Who else uses you? How will you invest my money?

If we get the balance wrong and only talk about the feelings and emotions without any evidence, we would come across as slimy and salesy. On the other hand, if we were only to talk about the stats and facts, we would seem cold and not interested in the individual. You can probably think of examples of when this has happened to you; it’s how sales has got a bad reputation. John Lewis and Sainsbury’s and the other successful brands are selling, it just doesn’t feel like you are being sold to.

At FMB, we don’t have a marketing budget to justify a big TV campaign but we have made some short videos that we have used on social media. Their aim is to generate a positive feeling and enough interest to warrant further investigation on our website, where all the evidence can be found to make a full evaluation of FMB.

Click here for our video - it’s not quite John Lewis, but we think it sums up FMB pretty well.

You may have seen the Sainsbury's Ad, but have you seen the 'behind the scenes' clip on how it was made? I find it incredibly fascinating! 

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