Arvind Kejriwal, negative emotions, & consumer motivation

There's a video of Arvind Kejriwal getting slapped to the sound of music going around on social media. People have shared the video with much mirth, adding their nasty comments. I for one am disturbed. Its one thing to revel in another man's misfortune, its another to pass it around so others can join in the sickening revelry. At home we do our best to step in and ensure there's no exulting in anyone's misfortune. This is especially important for us to teach our kids. Its commonplace to see simple mishaps when kids play, like someone slipping and falling and so on. If Jaden joins in the laughter that follows, we remind him later of his rude behavior. We point to him though he may be prompted to laugh at such times, he must curb it, step up and if possible help.

Much of the response to the Kejriwal musical slap video comes from deep rooted hatred and disdain some people have for him. Now that's worrying. You can disagree vehemently with people's point of view, but that's no reason to wait for and revel in their downfall. Negative emotions and the behavior they provoke can be dangerous to the extent it eats up people from the inside. Note, it isn't wise to characterize all negative emotions as dangerous, as they have their positives too. There's research evidence that show negative emotions can be the key to one's well being. Tapping into negative emotions to spur people on is where marketing steps in. The portrayal of 'envy' in advertising for example, is aimed at motivating consumers to buy products and services the successful patronize. Remember Onida? However, its wise to note envy can either be 'benign' or 'malicious', and the response behavior prompted by either can play out differently. Every marketer worth his salt keys into the target consumer's emotions to build what is termed as 'emotional value'. Why marketeers, even on social media there's evidence to show for example, emotive headlines see lager number of 'shares'.

Its easy to see emotions are behavioral drivers. In business, as in politics. As for Kejrwal and the disdain he spawns, I fervently hope such anger doesn't take the dangerous road. I hope the people who hate him use it constructively to work towards upping their act in serving citizens better that the current Chief Minister of Delhi. That is when emotions will contribute. To a better society. 


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