Emotional Responses in Marketing: Convincing Customers to Buy

April 12th, 2016 by | No Comments

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Marketing campaigns that encourage people to share and buy can be summed up in one word: emotional.

This should come as no surprise as it was previously discussed how neuroscience plays a big part in marketing. Furthermore, studies have shown that people rely heavily on emotions when making brand decisions rather than information. Emotional responses to ads also have greater influence on an individual’s intent to buy than the content shown on marketing material.

Principal of a consumer psychology practice, Peter Noel Murray, Ph.D, implied in Psychology Today that consumers often don’t even think their way to logical solutions. Feelings give way to reason and emotions don’t hinder decisions. Rather, they constitute the foundation on which decisions are made.

Unruly, the video ad tech company that ranks the most viral ads each year, found that some of the most shared content of 2015 relied heavily on emotions, specifically themes that revolved around warmth, inspiration, and happiness. Notable examples included Budweiser’s Super Bowl spot #BestBuds and Kleenex’s Unlikely Best Friends. This hasn’t been always the case though; throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, most marketing campaigns were centered on humor and sarcasm.

These days, brands wish to be associated with smiling, happy customers. Ads that incite positive feelings have also been found to increase sharing and engagement. As brands recognized the high sharing potential of emotional content, more brands have focused on publishing inspirational and moving ads, such as P&G’s Thank You Mom commercial for the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014.

Most marketers believe that it’s best to avoid anger, given that it’s a negative emotion that may cause negative associations. However, when executed well in advertising, anger can surprise, motivate, and spur action. A great example is Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign, which uses a popular insult to capture the audience’s attention. The ad won an Emmy, as well as Grand Clio and Cannes Grand Prix awards.

Which emotions do you associate with popular brands? Have you used emotions in your marketing campaigns to evoke a response? Tell us about it; we’d love to hear from you.

About the author:
Jehan S. Ismael is a full-time writer and editor for a leading Internet Marketing firm. She has a love-hate relationship with food, likes to listen to rock and rap music, and enjoys reading books by self-absorbed writers like J.D. Salinger and Anthony Bourdain.

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