Written by: Lucian Trestler, Strategy Director, BBH London & Editor of BBH Labs

As our last post hinted at, we’re getting a little obsessed with feeling here at BBH.  Nigel Bogle has always said ‘sell through the heart’.  We’ve always known it.

The problem with feeling is it can get a little vague – make people happy.   Make people cry. But I believe we can get way more precise about this.

Here’s a little repartee between myself and Byron Sharp:


The more we pursue success through consistency, the more important it becomes to precisely analyse what made that first ad so amazing. So often this question is misdiagnosed and the tricky second album flops.

The drumming gorilla was all about joy right? A big, abstract, pure expression of joy in that quirky Cadbury’s tone of voice right? WRONG. It was all about a very specific type of orgasmic joy. The type that you can only experience after an outrageous build up. The release was the important bit there. Kind of like that release of sensory joy that can be experienced when you finally sink your teeth into that chocolate you’ve been craving. The build-up and release that wasn’t in any of their other ads.


Epic strut. That was all about a bloke dancing outrageously in public right? WRONG. We have all imagined how awesome it would be to burst into a power walk like that on days when we are bossing life and Queen B comes on shuffle. No one has imaged expressing that feeling on the pole. Ok, very few of us have imagined that.

Understanding exactly what that feeling was that made that ad so good is crucial, I would argue, in rolling out hit after hit.

The Under Armour ad with Misty Copeland (I will what I want) was all about that feeling when self-belief puts you on top of the world. Then came Giselle. Then Phelps. Each one a masterclass in spine tingling self-belief.

Our industry moves fast and naturally this means we obsess about the next big thing. And that’s a good thing. But we don’t stop to look back and reflect enough. By taking the time to ask – why exactly was that ad so good? – we (especially strats rustling up briefs) can pinpoint the exact feeling that needs replicating and help crack that tricky second album.