The Different Kinds of Empathy Marketing 


How many ads did you see last year that started with something like: “In these trying times…?” Or: “We’re all in this together?” 

We’re guessing quite a few. 

This is something that Danny Star and the team here tired of very quickly early in the pandemic last year. 

The truth is that empathy marketing can be very good, a boon for your business. However, when done improperly, it can be a real “downer,” coming off as treacly at best and maudlin or even insensitive at worst. 

Recent examples show how to do it right. 



Empathy in Hopefulness


Two articles we read today showed how to do empathy right. 

In this article, you’ll see two different ways of using empathy marketing. 

McDonald’s, instead of dwelling on bad times, recalled the good. 

Their ad “conjures up the emotions associated with McDonald’s, e.g., road trips, memories with friends, etc.” 

It didn’t flat out say: “Hey, remember all those things you might have missed last year?” Instead, it just referenced them, making for a better experience. 

Below that, GoFundMe did something even better: offered a way to help those in need. That’s real empathy: providing actual help for others. 

This powerful ad from Google utilized empathy marketing’s best trait: 


In this short, simple ad, Google shows things people searched for throughout the pandemic: school closings, quarantine, etc. 

Then, it shows some things opening. 

Finally, it closes with “COVID vaccine near me.” 

This is what separates the best “empathy marketing” from the “in these trying times” ads. The best ones don’t wallow in the misery, they show a real way out. If you can offer people hope and help, you’ll be that much farther ahead in empathy marketing (and any other kind of marketing, too). 

For help with growing your business online, you can reach Danny Star for a remote marketing consulting in Los Angeles session: (213) 457-3250. 


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