Two cents blog

Straight to the heart

by Alan Kewley on 4 April 2018


Like the rest of the world, I love the convenience of digital music access. Any song is a Spotify search away or a quick instruction to the Google Assistant.

A few weeks ago I bit the bullet and sold a bunch of my vinyl LPs, singles and cassettes to my favourite retro record store. Pretty well a car full of stuff. There’s still lots more where that came from.

Sorting through some of the music I was willing to part with reminded me how strongly emotion can be linked to an image, whether that’s an old family photo or, in this case, an album cover.

Simply looking at a cover can take you back to exactly what was happening in your life when you were giving that piece of post-punk gold a thrashing. Sure, it’s no startling revelation that life moments can be powerfully connected with imagery (#selfieeverything).

Seeing my favourite album covers reminded me that strong emotional recall is locked away in our memory banks and is ready to resurface at the slightest prompt. As marketers, it’s important to remember that the people we want to communicate with are all humans, who might just share some common emotional reactions that are ready to be tapped into. Sometimes scratching not too far below the surface can reignite this bond.

For some people, the trigger could be a certain sound, texture or a smell. For others, the pathway to creating a connection might just be a reminder of an image they hold much closer to their heart than you might expect. And over time those memories don’t dissipate; they become stronger. We take greater ownership of them and what they mean to us as we create our own narrative around them. More on this in a later post.

Alan Kewley is a Group Account Director at BCM

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