Skip to main content

Connecting the Dots: Measuring Emotional Effectiveness


As a child, one of my favorite things to do was play “Connect the Dots.” I was consistently amazed that, when it was complete, a page full of scattered dots ultimately made a picture or told a story.

While I treat every day in my life as a myriad of new experiences (and am pretty quick to post them on Facebook), I often wonder how one’s feelings about certain experiences directly affect another person’s emotional journey through the world around them – the people they meet, the places they visit, the things they acquire.

It has been said that effective advertising achieves an emotional, benefit-driven connection between a consumer and a brand. Where though, does effective advertising take into account the emotional, benefit-driven connection felt among consumers as it relates to a brand ⎯ particularly when measuring results to determine effectiveness?

In 2008, I had the opportunity to meet Jonathan Harris and attend his presentation on “We Feel Fine,” his emotional experiment about interaction that treats a person’s feeling(s) as a “dot.” Each dot represents a single person’s feeling. The color of each dot corresponds to the type of feeling it represents (bright dots are happy, dark dots are sad), and the diameter of each dot indicates the length of the sentence inside. Demographic information (age, gender, location and weather) is also collected and displayed. Photo montages with text / image overlays are automatically constructed from photographs and feeling sentences that occur in the same blog entry. We Feel Fine collects around 15,000 new feelings per day.

By using an interactive platform to analyze how humans interact, why humans interact and most importantly, how human interaction influences human emotion, “We Feel Fine” works to paint a picture of human emotion by quantifying the connectivity of the “human collective.”

We are a world of scattered dots, each moving through the world working toward certain goals. Lest we forget that there are other dots out there that are working toward similar goals ⎯ dots that can influence each other to help increase awareness about the things we see, hear, taste, smell and touch.

I invite you to experience for yourself and consider how well you and your brand are “connecting the dots.”

For more information about Jonathan, please visit his website at: