Form follows Emotion

I’m reading the Steve Jobs biography, and I came across this quote from his first designer, Hartmut Esslinger:

“Form follows emotion.”

The statement resonates with me particularly because I’m such a fan of form integrating with function, but of course in advertising function basically boils down to emotion.  The form should be connected intimately to the emotional frequency of the brand and message you’re trying to drive.

That leads me to a discussion of this ad:

This ad is surprisingly simple in form, but that simplicity is a strength in this case adding a verisimilitude to Huntsman.Using the debate clips without commentary is powerful, even the cutaways to Perry and Mitt looking flummoxed works and adds to the sense of reality.

Huntsman comes off as tough, honest, and eloquent. Talking about his kids in the navy serving a Democratic president is a nice touch.

While patriotism is a good quality in an of itself, it also serves as a macguffin — what Huntsman is really saying is he’s the principled one in the race. The contrast is obviously with Mitt, where Mitt is calculating and rising money, Huntsman is principled and committed to his values, even serving for a Democratic president because it was his duty. He’s not playing politics he’s serving his country, what more could you want in a President?

I think this is a very good ad for Huntsman, contrasting his strengths against his opponent’s weaknesses. It’s presents his best on-emotion argument for voting for him, in an authentic execution, the real question for him is this enough to propel his campaign forward? And, do Republicans care?

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