“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”- Maya Angelou

You must have noticed that the most viral content on the internet is always the most emotional one. It’s not a coincidence that Pepsi’s “Better With Pepsi” and Heinekin’s “Cheers To All” campaigns are two of the most effective ads in the past two years because they appeal to our thirst for joy.

Humans are wired for emotional reactions and form instant opinions (good and bad) based on first impressions so it doesn’t matter how many cold hard facts you share with your audience because while informative, facts alone do not persuade people to pay attention, stay, or buy.

This is where emotional content comes in as a potent combination of logic and emotion designed to persuade people. Your consumers are constantly being bombarded with all sorts of messages and the only way you can cut through all that white noise is by tugging at their emotions.  If you are able to appeal to the human heart and psyche, you can easily get people to listen to you.

To start leveraging emotional advertising , you must first understand the core basic emotions that all of us feel and what they mean for your prospects.

Understand How Emotions Work

Psychology has identified six core emotions that everybody experiences: happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, surprise, and anger and one of the three techniques to persuade an audience, as per ancient philosophy, is termed as pathos that delves into how anything you say or do can evoke certain emotions in your audience.

So much of marketing relies on ancient wisdom and scientific knowledge because comprehension is the key to connecting with your audience. To ethically persuade people, you must decide the single emotion on which you wish to connect with them.

  • Happiness

Whether it’s a smile or a scoop of ice cream, happiness makes us want to share things. It’s an incredibly positive and powerful emotion that marketers use to associate positivity with their brands. Want to feel happy about your latest purchase? Nothing reinforces that belief more than smiling faces leaving the shop.

  • Sadness

At the other end of the spectrum is sadness that can be used as a catalyst for generating empathy, compassion, and care. You have to strike a balance while depicting sadness though because too much grief will take people away from your message and too little won’t create any impact. An ad copy that starts off with some heartbreak but ends at an inspiring notion is one way to depict sadness effectively.

  • Disgust

Powerful emotions stay with us for a long time and disgust is one particular feeling that causes us to react immediately. The urge to swat at a fly is imminent and almost reflexive. Following the same theory, you can evoke disgust in people to get them to move towards the solutions you provide.

  • Fear

Fear is instinctive and it’s our first natural response to any threat, be it real or perceived. You don’t have to spook or threaten people to get the message across but sublime efforts to show the scary parts of life is an effective way of marketing for medicines, life insurances, and even cigarette substitutes.

  • Surprise

Take’ em by surprise! While not knowing can be irritating for some folks, anybody that has received a surprise gift would tell you they loved it. If you can surprise people, you can excite them to become a part of your story and cash in on the novelty of their experiences.

  • Anger

Anger makes us want to do things- if you want people to take action, get vocal, join your band, or be moved to take up new challenges, tapping into their angry and stubborn side is exactly what your marketing strategy needs to be built upon.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and there are several other popular types of emotional marketing strategies that are centered on humor, adventure, compassion, inclusion, diversity, romance, popularity, trust, pride, and values. Name a strong human emotion that people experience individually and collectively, and you bet it can be used to draw out emotions from your target audience.

Create Resonance

The choices your consumers make are mostly instinctual and emotion-based. They simply haven’t had the time to think logically about why they like a certain product or service, they just do! And that is why you need to click with them instantly so they hit that like button, place their order, subscribe, or do whatever it is that you want them to do.

However, you cannot touch your audience on a deeper level unless you understand their fears, aspirations, struggles and desires and the legwork of finding out what works for your audience falls on you entirely. To accomplish that, you will need to create some buyer personas and identify universal themes that delve into the emotional nerves of your consumers.

Your marketing tactics have to be laser-focused on creating relatability so they trust you. Influence people through authentic, creative, and unique visual and textual expression of your brand. When we say authentic, we mean the values and goals of your brand that are aligned with your marketing campaign and you stand by.

When it comes to choices of medium for your campaigns, there are a few that you can use in combinations for maximum effect. You can paint a happy future on a billboard, or create a haunting video of a car crash, run an engaging campaign on electric cars on social media, or have a podcast for the latest diet hacks. Anything and everything you do has to be a call to action for your consumers and it’s only possible if they have made an emotional investment.

What Are Your Content Goals?

We all want to leave a mark on the world, and while the digital realm is fast-paced and flimsy, you can make a lasting impression if you have clear, identifiable, and tangible goals. You can hook your audience at the first click, but only an emotionally intelligent marketing strategy will keep them coming back to your doors.

Consumers’ brand loyalty is determined by the depth of the emotional connection you have built with them and it will only sustain itself if it’s substantiated in reality. So share your story and connect with them subconsciously. You want to grow your business, brand, clientele, and turn prospects into customers but how exactly do you want to do it?

Here are a few things you could aspire towards in your emotional marketing campaign:

  • Become memorable, get consumers to fall in love with your brand, and remain hooked simply because they cannot get over the experience you provide them with.
  • Spread joy by inviting people to become part of a group, movement, chain, or any new fashion statement. Your Christmas cheer or year-end sale has to convince people they are part of the festivities.
  • Create a sense of belonging by sending relatable messages to your audience. This requires you to speak the language of your consumers and perfectly time your campaigns.
  • Get people talking about you, tantalize them with potential surprises and keep their curiosities alive. If you keep working towards creating new and exciting products, features, and services, your consumers will associate your brand with innovation.
  • Tapping into people’s fear of missing out by introducing new concepts, characters, and lifestyle choices that they don’t want to miss out on.
  • Address melancholy and the woes of life by inviting people to stop and reconsider issues around social, financial, physical, mental, and other constraints.
  • Inspire by sharing stories that allow your viewers to emote vulnerability and then end the story on an inspiring note so your audience has a chance to smile through their tears.

Successful Examples of Emotional Marketing

Seeing is believing and so far we have only talked about how rewarding emotional content can be for all sorts of businesses. Now is the time to look into mega-successful brands that claimed the top spot in the past couple of years as the best campaigns to delight audiences worldwide.


Apple’s Think Different campaign is literally perched on top because it has harnessed multiple emotions (positivity, pride, brilliance) to capture its audience and foster brand loyalty. By marketing itself as the producer of cutting-edge technology and a culture of unveiling its new products, Apple has continuously banked on our desire to be part of something exclusive, top-notch, and catering to our need to be awed (surprised).

think different


Perhaps one of the boldest moves in history is when Coca Cola decided to abandon its logo and encouraged people to write positive messages and share them with their loved ones. The inclusion of hope, happiness, and human connection makes this beverage company one of the largest business entities in the world.



Another super inclusive ad campaign was run by SheaMoisture with the tagline “It Comes Naturally.” They celebrated the diversity and strength of Black women, essentially managing to capture one whole demographic using values and inclusion as the key factors.



The #LikeAGirl campaign for Always has been a major success because they understood the complexes and triggers of their audience well. While the phrase “like a girl” has mostly been used to depict girls and women as the weaker sex, Always took a great stride in showing how creative and progressive it can be. Always has used the same phrase and still changed the entire context- they have, to borrow their own words, rewritten the rules.


“The car that looks after you, like you look after others.” When we talked about using fear as a tool in a sublime way, this is what we were talking about. Volvo’s marketing strategy was built around vehicle safety and their tagline aptly addressed the concerns of their audience.

These examples are a good blueprint to get inspired form but you also must keep in mind that for each successful campaign, there are multiples that failed to hit their mark and some even caused a backlash (unhappy customers that left). Before you develop any campaign, check in with your audience and follow the comments posted on social media, tracking their reactions. After you are confident you understand the political climate and are sure of the message you want to send, send out your work. Keep a track of how it is being received and tweak it as required to suit your goals.

We Would Like To Help!

Emotional advertising is a powerful and effective tool to attract audiences, convert for sales, and grow your business. No matter how ‘digital’ the world gets, your consumers and prospects are human beings that listen to their gut instinct and follow their hearts. This is why sending them heartfelt messages through your digital marketing efforts is essential to draw them in.

You have to be creative and authentic while keeping in mind the requirements and dynamics of your target audience. We have covered the basics of emotional advertising including the most dominant emotions that your audiences will respond to and how you might incorporate feelings in your marketing strategies.

If you still have questions about how emotional advertising can benefit you, feel free to reach out to us at Content Development Pros where we generate marketing content tailored specifically for your audience. And if you want to create emotional content that tugs at your audience’s heartstrings, look no further than our amazing content writing services, since we can deliver any type of content you need. As content and digital marketing experts, we have the necessary industry insights that will boost your lead generation efforts and provide successful results.