There's something new under the hood of the 2013 Ford Mustang. But, you won't see it in ads. Instead, Ford understands anchoring to what's under your hood is more likely to move these cars. Gear heads would prefer hearing how Mustang’s 5.0-liter got kicked up a notch, thanks to the 444-horsepower Mustang Boss 302. Or, that engineers adapted multiple designs to realize a whopping 420 horses. Or, that the GT Track package, available for the stick-shift–equipped GT Mustang with a 3.73 axle, provides an engine cooler, upgraded radiator, performance friction brake pads, the Torsen differential found in the Mustang Boss 302 and the same ingredients as the Brembo Brake Package with 14-inch vented front... yadda, yadda, yadda. All my wife just wants to know is, can she get pink pin striping? Fact is, customers like her greatly outnumber the gear head cognoscenti. Ford's digital hocus-pocus only expresses literally the pictures already conjured in many a mind's eye. Satisfying our need for personal expression touches a place deep within us. Associating the Mustang with what is personally meaningful to each customer is a thing of beauty. It's called anchoring. And, with this spot, Ford sinks theirs deep. Anchoring is best illustrated through Ivan Pavlov's research of conditioned reflexes which won him a 1904 Nobel Prize and the eternal gratitude of marketers everywhere. You remember: show a dog meat, ring a bell, dog salivates. Repeat until the dog will salivate for the bell even when meat is removed from the equation. Repetition didn't get the result. It's not training. It's the meat. Dogs love meat. Pavlov started with something dogs already wanted. You think potatoes would have net the same result? While parading a handful of personalized Mustangs down the street, Ford gets under our hood, tapping into our associative anchors along the way. The red one, the green one, the almost pink, but really black one; we see ourselves somewhere in the mix, fulfilling our drive for self expression. It's something humans love even more than meat. The exact opposite happens where ads promote facts and details the advertiser deems important. It's an easy trap: selling what you wish customers would care about. That's a dead-end road. Instead, shift gears: look for ways to link brand associations to what's already valued and deep in the heart of your customer. Let's say you're selling a house. Five bedrooms and three and a half baths doesn't sell real estate. (How I wish it would.) It's more about how a house feels when you walk in, the impression it makes, the step up from what came before---that's why people buy a house. Significant purchases are made on primarily personal (read: emotional) grounds. Where in that mix are years in business, family ownership, excellent customer service, The GT version's Brembo Brake package? That may be your anchor, but it's not the customer's. Watch the ad again. See what Ford is selling: while tipping its hat at the Boss 302, and Shelby Cobra, the ad focuses on colors, custom grilles, and attitude. That last part isn't printed on any window sticker. But, look closer and it appears---reflected in the window, the Mustang within you. That's the test: when customers see your message, will they see themselves reflected back---or just a list of options pasted to a window?