Bringing Emotion into the Marketing Equation

Emotions have been welling up in advertising as marketers find inventive ways to connect with audiences on a personal level in traditional and social media.

Sometimes called “sadvertising,” this trend employs heartwarming tactics to capture the essence of the human experience. Whether 2015 continues to be another emotional year remains to be seen, but one thing’s for certain: the heartstrings will always be in play for marketing.

Here’s a quick look at some notable campaigns to inspire some ideas for your next campaign:

Budweiser’s Brotherhood Campaign

Budweiser won the hearts of millions who watched their Clydesdale commercial, “Brotherhood,” (during the 2013 Super Bowl). The ad, which generated more than 1.8 million shares only a week after the Super Bowl aired, has since become one of the most beloved Super Bowl ads of all time.

For it’s 2014 Super Bowl spot, the ad guys at Bud returned to Clydesdales brotherhood theme, but added a puppy and a hit song “Let Her Go,” by Passenger to capture the emotions associated with friendship.

Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign

While Budweiser moved people with a touching story of brotherhood, Dove came up with their own emotionally charged campaign called, Dove Real Beauty. In the process of reviving their company, Dove developed this brilliant idea that has changed the way women think of beauty.

Before the official launch of the campaign, Dove’s public relations team, Edelman, conducted research with more than 3,000 women in 10 different countries to find what were women’s interests and priorities. The results found that only two percent of women consider themselves beautiful, and out of this spawned one of the most revolutionary ad campaigns ever.

In 2004, Dove launched its “Campaign for Real Beauty,” celebrating the natural differences personified by all women and encouraging them to be comfortable and happy with themselves. The campaign won numerous awards for their campaign and increased sales from $2.5 billion to $4 billion in its opening campaign year.

Dove is set to revolutionize the way women see beauty once again by incorporating Snapchat into their Real Beauty Campaign. Dove is using their “Self-Esteem Weekend” and Snapchat as a way for followers to share their insecurities with “self-esteem ambassadors.” These ambassadors will respond to girls’ snaps with real-time advice and feedback.

Since the launch of the Self-Esteem Weekend on Oct. 9, the Snapchat stories have been viewed over 130,000 times setting up to be a successful campaign. There seems to be a trend with Dove and successful ad campaigns. They know what works for their audience and have a thorough understanding of how to reach them. Dove continues to deliver with their ad campaigns and have revolutionized the way businesses do marketing once again.

Why Emotion Works

Both of these companies are good examples of when emotion and advertising are perfectly blended together to make a successful campaign. Putting emotion in your message makes it that much more sellable and makes people want to buy it. It can make your product or message come across as genuine, not forced.

If you’re going to put emotion in your PR/Advertising campaign, don’t overdo it. Putting too much emotion can come off as fake and result in disbelief. Be bold and take a stand when you advertise with emotion; just make sure that whatever stand you take, it’s one that is going to come off positive to your audience.  Emotional advertising works best when your audience associates those emotions with your product.

Where your Business Comes in

If you’re looking into getting in the sadvertising realm, here’s what you want to do to maximize the effect of your ads.

  • Make sure your stories are timely. If something is going on in the world right now that pertains to your business write about it or craft social media posts about it. For example a doctor’s office could post about how to keep from spreading infections with the Ebola scare going on.
  • Be prepared to defend your brand from any backlash that comes from your ad. When using emotions in your advertisement you’re always going to rub somebody the wrong way. For example, Coca-Cola received a huge backlash from their “America is Beautiful,” ad. While the controversy ended up being deemed irrelevant by most audiences, it still could’ve done some damage to the Coke brand if they had not defended their stance on the ad.

Putting emotion in your message the right way can have a huge payoff and change the way people see your product and company. Are you in the process of reviving your advertising campaign? See what our team can do for you and email or call us; we’re here to help you out.

Hungry for more heartwarming ads? Check Buzzfeed’s great list of Fast Company’s in-depth article: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jarry/12-commercials-guaranteed-to-make-you-cry-ev1n.

Written By: John Garcia

John Garcia is currently a communications intern with esd & associates, assisting on a variety of PR, events and social media efforts. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has experience in working with agencies and non-profits alike.

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