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What I Learned From The World Cup About Human Behaviour

July 14, 2014

Let me start by stating that I do not like to watch sports on TV.  In fact, I would rather do just about anything else.  When they are on, which is often in our household because my partner loves sports, I am either head down into my tablet or walking the dogs.  Our dogs are very fit.

So imagine my surprise when I was sitting on the couch watching the World Cup.  Not every game mind you.  And my partner got tired, rather fast, of my uneducated questions.  So, I watched as silently as I could and rooted for teams based on purely emotional decisions, because I had no idea who was what and why it mattered.

Emotion is the key word.  I watched, was even glued to it, because of the emotion.

It was literally oozing from everywhere.  The ‘divers’ putting on shows worthy of an Oscar.  Grown men unashamedly crying in the stands and on the field.  Players mock kissing each other.  Coaches body slamming with joy.  The stands literally undulating from the fans singing and cheering and waving and dancing.  The kids walking in the stadium beaming with pride beside their celebrities.

The world cup is the Olympics of Emotions.

And the power of it is obvious.  It holds an entire globe captive for 3 weeks.  It makes and breaks reputations and careers.  And I’m guessing that 9 months from now there will be a little FIFA Boom in Germany.

Emotion is powerful.  Far more powerful than any reasoned approach to moving people to act.

We would all be wise to learn from this the next time we are looking for ways to motivate our customers.

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