MK 354 Spring 2010

March 22, 2010

stories – eHarmony

Filed under: blog #6 — Tags: , , , , — marissagkelley @ 12:21 pm

The final element of the Made to Stick SUCCESs model is stories. According to Chip and Dan Heath, “…a credible idea makes people believe. An emotional idea makes people care. And…the right stories make people act” (206). Stories provide a relatable connection that draws attention and empathy, while simultaneously leaving a concrete impression in people’s minds.

One successful example of this theory is the eHarmony advertising campaign. eHarmony offers an Internet dating service through which people can sign up, sign on, and meet their match…literally. eHarmony boasts an array of compatibility tools that give the consumer the best possible chance of meeting someone that they will connect with.

To market this service, the team at eHarmony created a full-fledged campaign based around one single concept: stories. It began with a series of television commercials, in which eHarmony interviewed couples that had met on the site and were now happily in a relationship. The idea caught on quickly, and became eHarmony’s major advertising theme. On YouTube, eHarmony posts video chats that they have conducted with happy eHarmony couples, and on Facebook, couples are invited to share stories of their own.

The campaign demonstrates that the eHarmony marketing strategy was spot on for its target audience. The company realized that that there is a large population of people in the world who are unlucky in love. Finding the perfect partner is a deeply emotional and personal part of someone’s life. eHarmony had to ask themselves, “how can we make the consumer believe that eHarmony is the best answer to their quest for love?”

Its answer involved capitalizing on what the Heath brothers refer to as “the un-passive audience”.  Universally, people are constantly imagining their ideal romantic match. This involves physical traits, personality, temperament, etc. To hear eHarmony couples talking about compatibility, happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction in their partner capitalizes on existing emotions in the consumer. They begin to imagine themselves as the couples on TV: happily in a relationship with all of their worries and bad breakups behind them. Essentially, they act as the un-passive audience, relating their own lives to the eHarmony stories.

For eHarmony, the strategy worked. Their advertising campaign has made it a top competitor in the online dating service industry. By utilizing the stories of its most successful customers, the company convinces potential customers that they too can be happy and in love with just a few clicks of a mouse.

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