Lessons from the recent Federal election on how optimism prevails over fear.

By Amber Hudson

In a recent post we equated the Conservative election campaign to school yard bullying: picking on Justin Trudeau’s age, experience and hair in hopes of instilling enough fear in Canadians that they will side with the Conservatives.

Well, we know how that all turned out.

But it’s not surprising many industries use similar tactics: establish fear and doubt, and then have the brand-as-hero ride in to save you from such evil:

  • Diet industry – you’re too big, eat this!
  • Toothpaste – your teeth are too yellow and people are going to laugh at you, brush with this!
  • Gum – your breath stinks and that chick you’re about to kiss will run screaming, chew this!
  • Anti-aging – you’re getting old and that younger looking woman is going to steal your man, slather on this!
  • Antibacterial products – those germs will kill you, scrub with this!

They say sex sells. Fear is an even stronger driver. But there is hope! What is stronger than fear? Optimism. Canadians voted the Liberals into a majority government because Trudeau tapped into our values; we’re a happy, optimistic bunch after all.

So watch out toothpaste and your insidious fear mongering counterparts, happy brands that tap into the values of optimism and positivity can prevail: Coca Cola does it with “Open Happiness”, Toms shoes does it by doing good, Campbell’s makes us feel like a kid again. So does your brand use fear…or can it tap into the very powerful vibes of optimism to get your customers’ votes.