When it comes to driving sales, emotional advertising appeals can be an effective part of your neuroscience marketing strategy. Since the concept of emotions can be vague, we would like to highlight some of the different ways that emotional ad appeals can work. Learn what constitutes an emotional appeal, when to use one, and which brands have done so effectively.

What are Emotional Appeals?

A common type of neuroscience-based advertising technique, emotional appeals evoke a specific emotion to appeal to the consumer’s subconscious or gut instinct. For example, an ad for car tires might evoke underlying feelings of fear and safety by associating quality tires with a reduced risk of auto accidents. Michelin did exactly this in their well-received tire ad.

Emotional appeals can work well for a range of products or services, provided that you first identify which emotions to evoke in your target audience. You may highlight either positive or negative emotions successfully. Since consumers ultimately rely on emotions and feeling about a product or brand when buying something, appealing to emotions can help you increase your market share or sell more products.

Many non-profits use emotional advertising to attract consumer attention for their campaigns. From animal welfare organizations highlighting the need for donations to save pets in need to children’s relief organizations seeking to end child poverty and hunger, emotional appeals work well for getting consumers to respond to the cry for help. Non-profits in all sectors can utilize emotional ads successfully.

For-profits have also used this type of advertising to great acclaim. Other examples of businesses that have successfully used emotional advertising in past campaigns include Dove (Real Beauty campaign), Nike (Find Your Greatness), and Budweiser (Clydesdales).

When to Use Emotional Appeals?

  1. When your goal is to create consumer connection and loyalty to your brand, emotional ad appeals can help you stick out in a slew of ads and make the sort of connection with the consumer that delivers lasting loyalty. Modern consumers often ignore advertisements, which can frustrate brands that spend time and money trying to develop content that connects and influences. Emotional ads can refresh brand perception, regenerate connection, and put a more human face on a service provider.
  2. Emotional appeals work especially well with established brands where consumers already know the basic benefits of the product or service. When the market is new, and these benefits are not fully understood, emotional appeals don’t work as well. With new brands, consumers want the facts to understand what’s being offered and are less likely to succumb to an emotional appeal.
  3. Emotional appeals work well for low to medium stakes products. They don’t work as well for major purchases like a car or the decision to attend a specific college or university. Even when car companies or universities use emotional ad appeals, they also direct consumers to data points that provide additional facts and figures.
  4. Emotional appeals can be integrated with other types of neuroscience appeals to create a campaign that succeeds on multiple levels. This can be a great way to leverage the emotional hook that grabs consumer interest while integrating the data points that lead to conversion.

Connecting to emotion creates the essential hook that can turn a consumer into a buyer and then into a loyalist of your brand. Emotional ads penetrate the surface to make an underlying impact so the content of the ad stays with the viewer, which reinforces the connection and increases brand loyalty and sales of a given product.