How to Connect with your Audience in Advertisement

I have mentioned many times in the past in conversation and in writing, that we are living in a world that is oversaturated with advertisements. It is a relatively recent phenomenon that came with the age of the internet, but the gist of the concept is that people are bombarded with so much advertisement, that they start tuning out the ads that do not feel relevant to their interests, emotions, or personal values. To put it plainly: If there is no emotional connection between the ad and the viewer, it will have no impact whatsoever on the intended audience.  In response to this phenomenon, advertising companies have been changing their tactics by creating ads with the intent of getting people to emotionally connect with their brand directly, with mixed results.

After some analysis on my part, I have determined the three components behind advertisements that connect with their audience: A strong emotional message, A targeted audience, and alignment of company values with the values of the audience.


When creating any sort of advertisement, you need to carefully consider:


  • What you are trying to say- Your Message
  • Who are you trying to say it to- Your Audience
  • Does your message line up with your company values – Do You Say What You Mean


Context Done Right- State Farm | Neighborhood of Good



This commercial is sort of underrated, and it is a damn shame that it is because it handles the complex matter that it introduces with the right tone, conveys the right message to the viewer, and offers a solution to the complex subject matter in a tasteful way.

The ad starts off gentle music combined with a visual of a gentleman who is sitting on a subway and reading a poster that is about pet adoption, he is interrupted by a dog whining beside him and the camera pans to the same dog from the poster, that has somehow materialized as a tangible byproduct of that nagging guilt that most people feel after seeing or hearing a pet adoption ad.   Already, I can identify with this ad, emotionally, I want to adopt all the dogs to prevent their suffering but logistically I know that I cannot afford to do all those things, so the guilt slightly weighs me down just like the man on the subway.

The dog from the poster follows the man down the street and to his office, where the man comes across a Facebook ad that tells him to support the vets on his work computer. He turns to his right and sure enough, the veteran materializes and nods at the man. Again, emotionally, you want to help all the vets, but logistically, most people watching the commercial are burdened with the knowledge that they can’t afford to do that.

Cue the man sitting at a bar with his friends, being followed by the dog and the vet, seeing a news piece on the television about the rise of dropout rates among high schoolers, you know by now that the boy will materialize and follow this man around.  He is now followed by an entourage of various people in need that represent different causes that need to be addressed and it overwhelms this man that just wants to live his daily life without the weight of the world on his shoulders. But it keeps growing ever so larger.

It concludes when the man stops by a local community outreach center and decides that he is going to volunteer his time to this specific cause. The apparition of the boy nods in acknowledgment of his decision, and they all disappear as he enters the building.  A voiceover states, “You can lift the weight of caring by doing” and promotes State Farms Neighborhood of Good, encouraging others to volunteer.


  • They were sending a clear message to the audience that was easily understood, that message being, “Life sucks, and you can’t fix it all, but you can at least do your part to help.”
  • They knew who they were sending the message to, sensitive people who feel an almost helpless sense of compassion.
  • They knew that the message was in line with their company values, being there as a good neighbor in times of crisis like an insurance company is supposed to do.


Context Done Wrong – Pepsi | Protest is the New Selfie?


Kyle Jenner Pepsi Ad


Pepsi caught hell the moment the company released the possibly well-intentioned but utterly tone deaf protest commercial on YouTube. On a surface level, it seemed like a hell of an overreaction from the public to a seemingly harmless promotion, but if you analyze it piece by piece, you can realize why it was an insult to the audience they were trying to communicate with.

They start off with protest imagery with a crowd of young people with various races, religions, and hobbies. They are all smiling and interacting with each other like they are going to a concert instead of acting like they are legitimately angry or anxious about the issue they are protesting about.  It doesn’t sound bad at first, but if you saw a video of everybody crying at a 5-year-old’s birthday party as the boy blows out his candles, wouldn’t that sort of dissonance just seem a little out of place?

Then Pepsi muddles the message further by a celebrity appearance by someone who has never really been associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, who stops in the middle of a photoshoot to protest because a guy in the crowd flirts with her. Again, there is no context and it confuses the hell out of the audience.  Are they saying protesting is sexy? A fun activity that all the kids are doing just to hook up? And what does this have to do with Pepsi?

In an even more bewildering crescendo in this hodgepodge of a commercial, it ends with the celebrity just simply picking up a Pepsi and handing it to an armed policeman which lead to him drinking it and the crowd cheering like they just achieved world peace.  Wait, what did I just watch?

For the entirety Pepsi’s branding history, the company identified itself as Coke’s main rival and was known in the 90’s as the ‘cool kids’ kind of soda. Their core values were based less on political and somber topics and more on the latest fads in music and pop culture. Coca-Cola was the company that identified itself more politically and internationally. So for Pepsi to try and identify themselves with any sort of political movement kinda makes their brand and soda just fall flat. It is a pale imitation at best and outright identity theft at worst.

So what is their message? Are they saying Pepsi is so cool that it leads to world peace? That Pepsi is the key to preventing all the police brutality?  Policemen are just thirsty and it makes them cranky? What are you telling me Pepsi?



  • We don’t know what they were trying to say except “Buy Pepsi”.
  • We don’t really know who the message was for, while it alludes to the young crowd, there seems to be no real attempt at a connection with the intended audience.
  • We don’t know what sort of values that this company has, it just slapped together imagery of young people doing random things that Pepsi thought was ‘cool’ at the time instead of getting to know the demographic which is outright insulting if you think about it.


So if you want to avoid another flop, Pepsi,  when working on an advertisement that is emotional or that is supposed to connect with a specific audience, in general, it is a good idea to be clear in your message, your values, and your identity. When connecting with a specific audience, in general, it is a good idea to be clear in your message, your values, and your identity. Remember, an ounce of prevention in the board meetings is worth far more than the pound of cure that is apologies and wasted money on damage control.

By | 2017-06-16T14:18:09+00:00 May 30th, 2017|mistakes|Comments Off on How to Connect with your Audience in Advertisement

The Purple Tie Show Episode 93

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

For the first time that I can think of, we’re going to discuss our recording setup! Exciting, no? Maybe, maybe not. We’re rocking a Scarlett 2i2 that plugs directly into our 2015 iMac 27″. We’re using AKG P420 Microphones that connect via XLR cables to the 2i2. And our headsets that assist us while we’re recording are Audiotechnica ATH-M20x. All of this is a few years old now, but they work and sound amazing. Of course, if you’re looking to get into podcasting, look no further than the Blue Yeti. It’s an awesome USB mic with a jack in for headphones so you can monitor yourself while you’re recording. If you’ve got a bit more money to invest, check out the Rode Podcaster Kit. That’s what we got for the office to record voice overs and videos.

There is an extensive conversation covering customer expectations. I’m not outlining all of it here, so listen on and enjoy.

We talk about and their awesome chatbot software.  The chatbot is really very easy to setup, if not a bit time consuming, but once it’s up and running, you’re free to go about your day without having to worry about answering the same questions over and over again.

Lastly, we touched on two topics: Verizon outbids AT&T for 5G wireless spectrum and Apple may introduce a midrange 10.5″ iPad to replace the iPad mini (I can’t find the article I was referring to, but here’s an article talking about the updated iPad Pro that the article referenced). Click the links to go to the respective news articles.

Happy Memorial Day!

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-06-27T12:01:33+00:00 May 30th, 2017|podcast, Post|Comments Off on The Purple Tie Show Episode 93

The Purple Tie Show Episode 92

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

Guys, we took a week off. Sorry. Moving on.

Last week we recorded about 15 minutes of terrible podcast and decided that we just weren’t up to the task. Rather than releasing something that was subpar, we took a week off, regrouped, and now we’ve got some excellent content for you!

A recap of what we talked about last week was:

Retro Pie and Russell Brunson’s Funnel Hacker Blackbox

Apple may be moving into Carnegie Library

Apple also just injected about $200 million dollars into Corning Glass

Dragon Naturallyspeaking

We’ll be going back to Dragon next week probably. It’s a great program, but it has a lot left to be desired when it comes to transcription.

There are rumors swirling about Apple possibly taking the Ipad mini off the market. I’m not sure where I found that article, but I completely believe it. In a world where you can get a 6″ phone, there’s so little need for a 7 or 8 inch tablet that doesn’t let you make phone calls. It would be a smart move on Apple’s part if for no other reason than to funnel the money previously allocated to the mini into something else like the iPhone or one of their various failing computer lines (I’m looking at you MacBook Pro and Mac Pro).

Here’s a link to the Motel 6 radio ad made for millennials. You decide if it’s appropriate for airplay (of course, we do say AF quite a few times during the show today, sooooooo?)

We briefly talked about being a great artist but still needing a sales team. That’s why creatives hire agents who know their way around the market. So they don’t have to sell their own products. They just pay someone else to do that for them.

Tesla announced their solar roof shingle replacements a while back, and I’ve been salivating for them ever sense. I love the idea of putting solar panels on my roof, but when I check on pricing years ago it was astronomical (hundreds of thousands of dollars). Finding out that these shingle replacements are more durable and cheaper than traditional roof materials was so exciting, I started saving money for a new roof IMMEDIATELY. And now they have the ability to PRINT solar conductive material and put it literally anywhere. As Robert points out in the podcast, you can take a huge roll of it into the desert, unroll it and suddenly have power! It’s such an amazing time for alternative fuels. In 20 or 30 years, maybe a huge percentage of roofs in the U.S. will be solar. Maybe we’ll actually begin reversing some of the effects of pollution due to fossil fuel emissions. Or maybe nothing will change at all. We’ll just have to wait and see. I, for one, will have a solar powered roof!

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-07-22T14:26:34+00:00 May 23rd, 2017|podcast, Post|Comments Off on The Purple Tie Show Episode 92

Leaving Dex Media or Hibu Is Possible!

I may have ranted a little about the pet peeves that I have with large media dex media and Hibucompanies such as Dex Media, Hibu, or YP.  It has been a hot button issue with local web development and marketing agencies when they advertise their own services to other local businesses only to be told very quickly, “We’re not interested. I am already paying for a website that does nothing for me, I don’t need a website.”

As I have been researching the entire debacle, a question popped into my head; Have customers been able to leave big media companies with their websites intact?

Another small business web designer, marketer, and blogger, Teri Brooks from TBrooks Web Design, answered the question for me in her insightful article about the insane but still possible process of canceling an account with Dex Media, Hibu and other Big Media entities.  Click on the link below for the amazing advice.

Thank you, Teri Brooks. You are doing good work out there!

By | 2017-06-16T14:00:54+00:00 May 17th, 2017|Post|Comments Off on Leaving Dex Media or Hibu Is Possible!

The Purple Tie Show Episode 91

The Purple Tie Show combines business, marketing, and technology.

I’m going to start out by saying, “We’re not an Apple podcast.” That being said, let’s talk about Apple! For the 2nd quarter in a row, iPhone sales have slipped. That sets up an interesting question: what is Apple’s “next thing?” There are rumors swirling that Apple may spend a portion of its billions of dollars to buy another company. We’ve talked about Apple possibly buying Tesla before, but there are many other companies that they’re looking into. Disney, Hulu, Netflix, Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, and Electronic Arts are all rumors to be on the table. I suppose we’ll see.

We also briefly talked about Windows 10S as a competitor to Chrome OS. I wanted to squeeze it in there before I went to the next thing because we didn’t talk that much about it.

The next thing: Expert Secrets, Affiliate marketing and retargeting! Get Expert Secrets for free, just pay shipping. Go to and grab that book. It’s great! The author is Russell Brunson, creator of . Another affiliate link: . It’s a great website for building things like lead generating forms and squeeze pages. We talk at length about why retargeting doesn’t pick up that you’ve purchased something months after you initially searched for it. I didn’t get a chance to put in my doubts about technology being able to tell that you’ve purchased something. Especially if you bought it in a physical location, like Best Buy. That’d be near impossible, I think. But if I’d purchased the Bluetooth headset through Amazon (which is where I searched for it, but not where I actually bought it), I think they’d be able to turn off those types of retargeting ads. At that point, it’s basically just a database search.

Check The Purple Tie: Inspiring Success on Facebook or Twitter for all your digital marketing, online advertising, and web design!

Listen to the episode!

By | 2017-07-22T14:26:18+00:00 May 9th, 2017|podcast, Post|Comments Off on The Purple Tie Show Episode 91