Front Line Marketing
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Emotional Contagion: A virus worth catching?
January 2012


You are being seduced everyday.
And even though you may argue that you aren't getting that much action ....

I can assure you from years in advertising, marketing and public relations, that YOU are all advertisers think about and a very real seduction tool they use is emotional contagion.

Elaine Hatfield is a leading research psychologist in the area of emotional contagion and here is how she describes it.

"When people are in a certain mood, happy or sad, that mood is often passed on to others. When we talk to people that are depressed, we can feel depressed. When we talk to people that are happy we are likely to feel happy and good about ourselves."

OK. So why is it in your best interest to not only learn about it, but to learn how to use it?

Guys, maybe you think that emotional contagion is harmless, more a female, 'feeling thing' and that your actions are not dictated by emotions.

No doubt you've heard about the power of first impressions and that we make up our mind about someone in 60 seconds. Hear this! Actually not only do we decide how we 'feel' about someone in about 2 seconds, but virtually all of our decisions are made emotionally. We then back up our decision with rational thinking. Regardless of the product, we vote emotionally, then rationalize.

Consider this. We are exposed to over 3,000 call to action messages a week (advertising).  And the explosion of communication technology, like smart phones, MP3 and tablets gives advertisers more outlets from which to lead us to a desired outcome.

Emotional contagion is used everywhere. For example, the laugh track used in situational comedy's is an example of emotional contagion in action. Laughter influences others to laugh. And it is widely believed that an action creates a feeling. In our example, laughter creates a feeling of happiness. If we feel good, then we are more likely to like and watch the tv show. The more we 'like' and identify with what we are watching, the more opportunity for advertisers. 

Seduction is fun.

We have a choice. We can either continue being seduced unconsciously or we can become aware, learn and gain power over the choices we make and the messages we send. We can become active participants in being seduced and in seducing. And really, isn't it much more fun when we have a clue and get to play too?

You're not good enough...

The way we deal with each other has very real consequences. When we tell others through our words, looks, or the tone of our voice, that they somehow don't measure up, something bad happens.

The emotion that goes with that message is contagious. Not only does it get transmitted, it is caught and internalized. Very much like a virus. Then that emotion becomes mirrored and transferred to others. We end up feeling unhappy with where we work and the people we work with. We don't feel good about ourselves either.

We become victims. And we act like victims. We feel under appreciated, over worked and under paid and we don't know what to do about it.

We can reverse the process. Once we choose to become consciously aware of what is happening, we can implement tactics that reduce our susceptibility to others negative viruses and we can better control the strains of virus we launch at others.

But like any skill, we have to learn and practice before we get proficient.
 Learn more ...

Emotional contagion is real. It is powerful. And it impacts your success in a very tangible way. Since we are all carriers and transmitters, we each have the opportunity to develop our emotional contagion communication talents.

Those that actively choose to learn will be the most successful both personally and professionally.

Contact Front Line Marketing to schedule an Emotionally Contagious seminar for your team.
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." William James

Personal Message

"There are no weaknesses. There are just talents that haven't yet been  developed."
 Kindness as a cure

Perform small acts of kindness and you activate the part of the brain that releases the drug oxytocin.

This hormone makes you feel more attached to others and relaxes you.

It is also the hormone necessary to build trust.

And that too is contagious.
Contact Informatio
To Your Success,


Bruce Cameron
614-437-9859 office
312-952-9952 mobile