the-man-in-the-chair-mcgraw-hill-885x1024For some critics, B2B advertising is too rational and doesn’t contain enough emotion. If that’s the case in 2014, then something’s changed since McGraw Hill ran this, perhaps one of the most famous B2B ads in the 1960’s.  This ad is 100% B2B and yet it is stuffed with emotion.  It plays on fears of the unknown, making mistakes and it reinforces the need for brand trust. It makes a case for “business brands”.

So, what’s happened?  B2B advertising has been “over rationalised” as marketers and agencies have reinforced the idea that business buyers and purely rational buyers who base purchase decisons on nothing but facts and figures. We all know this isn’t true; business buyers are you and me (i.e. consumers) when we are at work. When we make a B2B purchase with someone else’s money, whether it’s a photocopier, a USB stick or a media deal with an online ad network, we need both rational and emotional reassurances that the decision we are making is a good one and will not be a let down to others.