Monday, January 26, 2009

Love and Hate

I’m sometimes asked, “If Lovemarks are the things that people love, are there Hatemarks too?” My response has always been "not for me", and why do you want to go there anyway? Some brands (and people) are keen to polarize: you’re for me or you’re against me. That’s not what I believe. Personally I believe in fame through popularity, not controversy.

But if you’ve got Lovemarks, some people reckon there have got to be Hatemarks as well. There’s even a logo out there on the Web for Hatemarks that mirrors the type we have used for Lovemarks. They really do need to get out more. Google can tell us whether Lovemarks or Hatemarks attract the most attention, and it’s "Lovemarks" by a landslide. "Hatemarks" = 755 results. "Lovemarks" = 150,000.

There’s always been a tension between love and hate. A tension that romantic drama, for example, thrives on. The guy the heroine dislikes most, he’s the guy. It worked in Pride and Prejudice, and works still. Science is now discovering that the distance between love and hate may not be as big as we have always imagined. Neurobiologists at the University College London claim to have discovered what they call a 'Hate Circuit' which is activated by love as well as by hate. Although their study is based on work with just a few people, they do offer useful insight into the place of reason in love and in hate. They argue that in relation to brain activity, hate uses more of our rationality than love does. Large parts of our reason are deactivated in some way when we love. In other words, love is more emotional than hate so when you have a love/hate relationship with anything, it’s probably a certainty that love will be the decider.