"Unique Marketing Test Reveals Likely Election Winner."
The Secret? One Name Captures the Emotions of Voters.
How do you reach inside the mind of voters to determine
who they will vote for, even before they may even know
That is the particularly intriguing question faced by
hundreds, even thousands of pollsters, not to mention
politicians. As the public is exposed to the daily,
hourly barrage of skittishly jumping results of the
polls, there seems to be no way to measure what will
happen, except to say it is "virtually a dead heat."
Hakim Chishti, Executive Director of the research firm
Advanced Marketing Institute (AMI) believes his form
picked the likely winner. And it will not be anywhere
near a "too close to call election." In fact, according
to Chishti, "one of the candidates is three more times
more likely to be chosen in this election."
“It’s All in the Sound of Your Voice”
According to Chishti, "Going all the way back to Plato,
it has been known that our emotions are affected by the
actual sound of words; the tones within words 'mean'
something to us, regardless of which language is being
spoken, and regardless of whether we even know the
Chishti, who is fluent in several Near Eastern languages
and a US Government Fulbright Research Scholar, says "I
became interested in the harmonics of languages, when in
my travels I found that people had emotional reactions to
languages which they did not know."
Phonetic Symbolism: the Key to the
Emotional ‘Meaning’ of Words
In linguistics this phenomenon is known as "phonetic
symbolism." Marketers and researchers for decades have
used this awareness to develop brand names and evaluate
marketing communications. Russian researchers discovered
that these sound affect a child while it is still in its
While the effects of spoken words on our emotions can be
profound, understanding the specific mechanics of how
sounds produce specific emotional reactions has been an
elusive goal for researchers.
200,000 Words Analyzed for Emotional Impact
In the 1990s, Dr. Chishti led his team of researchers at
the Advanced Marketing Institute to develop special
algorithms. Based upon research at Bell Labs, Chishti's
computer experts analyzed the tonal qualities in more
than 200,000 words in the English language, and the
specific centers in the mind and body activate by
specific waveforms made by each sound.
The Advanced Marketing Institute provides a free analysis
tool online which provides free evaluation of headlines.
Site visitors run more than 30,000 headlines through the
tool each month, to improve the emotional connection of
their marketing slogans with potential customers.
The analysis results provide a breakdown of words into
three categories - those affecting the emotional,
intellectual and spiritual centers of a person. Based
upon these criteria, Chishti's firm provides special
computer analysis to Fortune 100 clients and others. The
results are stated as an "Index" for each component of
the emotional value of a particular series of words.
“Inside the Mind of the Marketplace” (And Voters)
According to Chishti, this type of research provides very
deep insight into how customers interact with products,
services, and other people. "We call this analysis
"Inside the Mind of The Marketplace," Chishti said.
"It was possible for us to evaluate, as just one
example," said Chishti, "political candidate's speeches,
to discern how emotional, or intellectual or spiritual
their communication is."
Chishti also said, "If you also evaluate the blog posts
of a candidates' web site, one can more fully match the
communication style of prospective voters. That is a
So after an evaluation of all the candidates' speeches
and all of the campaigning across millions of miles and
thousands of hours of stale dinners and limp shrimp,
which candidate does Chishti predict will be the winner?
“It’s all in the name …”
"Of course many factors influence an election," he said.
"The area we thought most relevant was the name of the
candidate himself. Since this is the most obvious and
often-repeated aspect of everyone's connection to a
candidate, we wanted to get to the core perception for
each candidate. We felt the name provided just such a
And Chishti revealed to us that purely in terms of the
harmonics of the names, one candidate is a clear winner,
and overwhelming winner. And that is Senator Barak Obama.
"At least according to the science of linguistics and our
computer analysis of how people respond emotionally, Sen.
Barak Obama's name has an overall emotional content index
value of 150%, whereas John McCain's rating is only 50%."
Candidate’s name “off the charts in
terms of emotional appeal…”
To put that in perspective, even the best copywriters
attain an index rating of around 30%. So while McCain's
name is not necessarily weak, the harmonic strength of
Obama's name if essentially off the charts. You
practically could not have invented a more emotionally
connective name for a political candidate," said Chishti.
"Without getting too technical about it all" Chishti
said, "simply in terms the emotional, heartfelt
connection, common people have three times the
"emotional" connection with Sen. Obama."
Though considered ‘intellectual’, people ‘feel’ him as
the more as emotional and empathetic candidate.”
Even more interesting, said Chishti, is that we can
further break down the specific format of emotions, into
heartfelt qualities or emotions, intellectual values and
spiritual values. "Interestingly, " even though Obama is
considered the "intellectual" of the candidates, his name
conveys only "emotional" or heartfelt values to people.
"Perhaps that explains to some extent the rising tide of
veneration enjoyed by the Obama campaign, and the large
crowds, their sense of commonality of purpose and
community exhibited by the huge crowds he draws," Chishti
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Published by Advanced Marketing Institute
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