Back when I was an account executive on Lionel Trains at HBM Boston I learned a great lesson about advertising, whether it’s consumer or B2B: Incorporate emotional benefit, not just logic. A little marketing research can keep your campaign on the right track to emotional success. 

In the case of Lionel Trains, research revealed that the key decision maker was the mother, not dear old dad, although he liked trains. Further, the research indicated that mothers wanted their husbands to spend more time with the kids. Lionel sales were declining and bankruptcy was on the horizon when Mal MacDougall and his team came up with a brilliant commercial (and tag line) which delivered the emotional benefit, “Kids get something wonderful when they get a Lionel. They get dad.” Next, Mal got Mr. Railroad himself, Johnny Cash to deliver the story. (See original TV spot below.) The rest is history. The campaign revitalized the brand. 

 “Kids get something wonderful when they get a Lionel train. They get dad.” 

Mr. Railroad Created a Jingle for Lionel.

Emotion is a key factor in both consumer and B2B buying. Our consumer research of nearly a million people to date indicates that emotion can represent up to 90% of the buy. In B2B, our 10,000+ global surveys reveal that it’s up to 52% emotion. 

We work with agencies, clients and social media firms. If you’re not getting satisfactory results you expect, you might want to consider participation in our Pilot Research which is quick and cost-effective. It’s a mini survey of 10 questions, mostly conversational, where we analyze customer verbal feedback using our proprietary EmotiveSCANTM software to determine your most powerful “trigger” word message.  Check out our website at or contact me at

WordPress Image Lightbox
Malcare WordPress Security