The power of emotion – the difference between why some pieces of content go ‘viral’, rather than slipping quietly into the mists of time.


As brands are waking up to the fact that we don’t buy based on logic alone, we’re seeing more and more campaigns built on real insight into what makes us feel. Funny, warm, intelligent and moving content reinforces not simply the size, scale or detail of an offering, but reflects the highs and lows of real life. The very best campaigns strive to give us a reason to care, engage, share and connect with others.

So as brands compete for our laughter or tears, hoping to benefit from the campaign amplification that only word of mouth can truly bring, we take a look at Hub’s three favourite pieces of content for 2016. Stories that exhilarated us, inspired us and moved us to shed the odd tear…

We’re the Superhumans 

This joyous, Broadway-inspired musical spectacle and rally-cry really does speak for itself. In the ad, Paralympians make high jumps, score goals, lift barbells and shoot arrows while everyday folks play drums, take notes, eat cereal, fly airplanes — just as easily as their counterparts who happen to have arms and legs would. With ‘Yes, I can’, Channel 4 shifted focus from disability to super-ability; with an awe-filled action smorgasbord and a message that makes its way straight to the heart and lives long after Rio.

Chipotle: A Love Story 

Here’s a shining example of a Brand using creative and emotive storytelling to strengthen its brand message. In this short, animated film (which feels a million miles away from being an ad, which is technically what it is), we see protagonists Ivie and Evie grow from kids selling orangeade/lemonade at rival street stalls, to running large competing industrial food chains.

Chipotle doesn’t feature its name once in the entire film. This ad is not about tempting you in with shots of succulent grilled chicken and guacamole; instead it’s a story with a more lasting message; a message about quality, about the joy of collaboration and about the anti-industrialisation of food. This is the real genius. Chipotle strives to set itself apart from its fast-food competitors and their associated negative perception, despite Chipotle actually being a fast-food chain.

Nike – The Conductor 

In one of the most shared pieces of content this year, Nike facilitated a dramatic final bow from Basketball superstar, hero and antagonist, Kobe Bryant. As Bryant prepared to retire from the sport, Nike capitalised on the publicity opportunity with a piece that stood out by making a hero of negative emotion. In this ad, Kobe rises above his many detractors from the bleachers, stepping back from the game he is playing, to conduct and blend their hate cries, as if he were guiding a beautiful symphony.


Emotion is just energy, after all, and the message here, loud and clear, is that when you channel energy into the right places, even if it all originated from a place of negativity; it can transform to become a driving force for happiness and success.

Renee Sutherland Headshot

Hub’s Chief Creative Officer, Renee Vaughan Sutherland has been responsible for some of Hub’s largest social video campaigns.  She leads on Hub’s creative direction and client briefs.