A good friend recently sent me the Encyclopedia Britannica’s entry for the word emotion. Not expecting lofty and enlightened prose from the source, its beauty and simplicity startled me.

“There is no movement from darkness to light, or from inertia to motion without emotion.”

– Encyclopedia Britannica

As the country’s zeitgeist rapidly shifts beneath our feet, and emotions run high, it’s important to remember the foundation of our republic lies in the core values we as a people have held dear—those set forth in the Declaration of Independence and our constitution. Perhaps the words that have sustained us from the beginning, and continually moved us as a nation toward the light, are worth revisiting:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

– Thomas Jefferson

In the wake of this historic and tumultuous election, one thing is clear: incredibly strong emotions fueled support for Donald Trump—emotions rooted in a deep dissatisfaction with the status quo. Equally as clear: the visceral reaction of Hillary Clinton supporters, dismayed with result and searching for answers as to why their candidate lost, is palpable.  Channeling that emotional energy into creating positive change and moving our country toward the light—embracing diversity, equal opportunity for all, tolerance, equality—is what we are all about as Americans.

As advertisers and marketers there are many lessons to be learned from this election cycle—brands must, above all, engage their audience on an emotional level. Sure, there are rational arguments to made and USPs to be extolled, but without emotion—no one will ever go from inertia to motion.

A sidenote: As we put the finishing touches on our new space at 500 Seneca St. in Buffalo, I am overwhelmed with an emotion myself: gratitude. Gratitude to our team who has admirably endured weeks of construction and still delivered great creative product, gratitude to our landlord and their constrution team and, most importantly, gratitude to our terrific clients who have made this all possible.