Emotion: a familiar friend we barely know

David Bonney

I felt so much today (see Appendix). But I'm not sure a single brand made me feel anything.

These are emotional times. Perhaps the most emotional in history.

We encounter more strangers, have more friends, are more likely to be single, work more intensively than we used to, are permanently contactable, cannot sleep, have difficulty securing basic needs like housing and family, have easy access to more culture and art, hear more scares, are happier, are more depressed than ever.

The intensity and unnaturalness of modern life means we are perpetually in a state of emotional flux. Maybe we have too much emotion in our lives, and our brains and hearts are not designed to cope with so much. Who can say?

But whether consumers are embracing emotion and enjoying catharsis, or becoming desensitised and aloof, it is clear that advertising has a heck of a task to cut through the emotional clutter of everyday life.