The Role of Emotionin Advertising

We are exposed to between 2,000 and 3,000 advertisements a day – facing a daily overload of information that is impossible to take in. Advertisers must fight hard to capture consumer attention and can only do so by creating a strong emotional bond with its audiences. According to ‘’ emotion in advertising grips people whether it’s excitement, humour or sadness.

Creating an Emotional Response

It is essential to understand the role emotion plays in communication, to correctly understand advertising effectiveness. Puppies, babies or even attractive models are some examples of what you see in adverts. All are effective at generating an emotional response. Think of the Andrex puppy or the power of the Government’s Anti-smoking campaigning. A powerful emotional response is influential in making people notice and create an impression of that brand. Simply creating awareness about a company’s product or service will fail to create desire in a consumer’s mind and fail to encourage purchase. Basically, if a consumer feel’s nothing, they’ll do nothing.

Using emotional advertising, advertisers attempt to evoke a feeling of shared emotion or belief with their target audience. According to ‘’, advertisers want people to relate to the situation portrayed in the advertisement, feeling positive, moved or shocked after the ad exposure.

Our responses to adverts are mainly apparent due to our own experiences in life, as we have an emotional response to everything we approach. Adverts can create huge variety of emotions; the majority of the messages portrayed by brands will have a positive effect on consumers, meaning the intended response is achieved. Emotional advertising is also an extremely powerful tool for creating awareness and preventing the wrong or no response.

Negative and Positive Messages

Child abuse and animal cruelty campaigns from organisations such as RSPCC and RSPCA create a particularly powerful emotional response in consumers minds. These adverts will trigger a strong emotional response as this behavior is breaking social norms of society and will be shocking for consumers to watch.  According to ‘’ even negative emotion, energizes processing, especially memory. Some people may be able to relate their own experiences to these adverts or some consumers may find it upsetting and an eye-opener.

In contrast to this, some consumers may feel more positive after messages portrayed by an ad. Their emotional responses may be nostalgia, warmth or pride, as some examples. Nike is an example of a brand that created an extremely successful advertising campaign for the 2012 Olympics, which gave consumers a sense of pride, patriotism and inspiration.

Christmas Advertising

Christmas is a key time of year when, traditionally, blue chip companies use emotional advertising strategies.  We are all well versed in Christmas being a time for giving and sharing, providing the perfect opportunity for companies to appeal to the needs and wants of a mass audience. High impact advertisements are used to lift the spirits of customers, enhancing the festive feeling. As consumers are likely to have special memories and experiences at Christmas time, emotional advertising can create positive and nostalgic thoughts in consumers’ minds that cause them to act – and fast!

Connecting with a Brand

In order for advertisers to evoke an emotion, it is important to think about not only what the brand stands for, but also how it can fit into and represent humanity – how it can touch the senses. By representing humanity in a way, consumers are drawn closer to the advert through their own experiences, therefore generating a strong emotional response and deeper brand connection.

We look forward to tuning into a season of laughter and excitement from our favourite brands this Christmas.

Image taken from the ‘Bear and the Hare’ John Lewis advert- created by Adam & Eve London.