The Importance of Emotion in Marketing

Long after the specifics of an interaction fade from memory, people can still recall how something, or someone, made them feel at the time. This lasting emotional impact on an audience is what any advertising or marketing campaign should strive to achieve. Strong emotions elicit strong decisions in someone.  Be it happiness, sadness, or some other emotion, getting your audience to react is the first step toward turning them into potential customers. An emotional advertisement is a memorable one.   


Ways to Trigger an Emotional Response in Marketing  

One might assume that striking a happy tone in marketing is the most effective way of getting people to take action.  There is research that shows advertisements conveying happiness receive more shares on social media platforms. This seems like a logical discovery, as most people prefer to share something positive with their friends.  This demonstrated desire by people to “spread happy” can be used by brands to organically expand the reach of their message through audience shares and likes. 

On the other hand, there is also research indicating advertisements with a sad message generate more clicks than those described in the previous paragraph.  It’s a natural human trait to be drawn to the bad.  One particular study by advertising company Outbrain found negative superlatives like “worst” or “never” work 30 percent better than headlines lacking a superlative. Headlines using positive superlatives (i.e., “best”) were found to be less appealing.  In general, negative words in headlines draw more clicks than positive ones.  

Fear is also a strong emotion that can trigger a response from consumers. Advertisements sometimes use real life issues, like identity theft or natural disasters, to scare potential customers into acting quickly to prevent tragedy. The fear of being the last one to know about something also often moves people to buy products and services. Similarly, advertisers will use “last chance” messaging to get consumers who are debating whether to buy a product to pull the trigger, often communicating something similar to “Don’t miss out on this amazing deal! It won’t be around much longer!”

Furthermore, the psychological effects of color also play an active role in initiating a response to marketing. Colors affect your day-to-day life whether you know it or not and can be a factor in determining your brand preferences. Specific colors have long been associated with certain subconscious feelings:

Yellow – optimism

Orange – friendliness

Red – excitement and youth 

Purple – creativity and wisdom

Blue – trust 

Green – peace, growth and health

Gray – calm and balance

Black – sophistication


The bottom line is that marketing with emotional impact is better for your bottom line! 70 percent of consumers who experience an emotional response to an ad campaign are more likely to buy the product or service. 

Is there a particular advertisement you remember vividly because of the way it made you feel? Comment about your experience on the Baer Performance Marketing Facebook page to join our discussion!