Empathy is an interesting thing. It's built into (most) people's physical brains - you can actually identify the central area in the brain where empathy resides.
Desire is an interesting thing as well. Many brands use empathy (a limbic response to external emotional states) and desire (a state of craving) together to create a customer's brand desire.
A survey of fMRI use in "reward paradigms":
For example, how much MORE would a brand be desired if the model, company, spokesperson was genuinely empathetic?
And then there's the opposite: How much MORE empathy would a customer feel for a brand if the spokesperson, company, or model was desired?
And then, finally, the post-modern switch-around:
1. Make the brand desirable by making the model, company, spokesperson UNEMPATHETIC. (Diesel.)
2. Make the brand EMPATHETIC by making fun of the model, company, or spokesperson. (Old Spice Guy.)