The most shared ads are ones that appeal to emotions. This is due to the fact that humans are always looking for interaction that feels organic, improves the sense of community, and feels well human. An important way to achieve this is through the use of emotions in your campaigns as a tool to connect with your audience.
When you invoke a feeling, you connect with your target, this makes your brand more memorable and serves as a multi-dimensional experience as your brand becomes associated with a feeling and the memories that this feeling triggers. Emotions can be positive such as happiness or negative such as sadness. Both positive and negative emotions can work to create a connection for your brand; do not be afraid to be bold and use a negative emotion such as anger. Here are a few thoughts about when to use emotions in your campaigns.
Happiness and joy obviously bring a positive connotation and association for your brand. Coca-Cola relies heavily on this emotion with their communication of joy and excitement brought by their product. Coca-Cola’s commercials always focus on happy imagery whether it’s a polar bear drinking the beverage or the celebration of a big win with a Coca-Cola. This causes the audience to connect Coca-Cola with happiness and joy and seek out the beverage to gain that joy and happiness. Some of Coca-Cola’s customers are so connected to the brand and its association with the feeling that they collect merchandise featuring the imagery.
Sadness is a very strong emotion although a negative one. However, many brands have been able to exploit this emotion as a way to connect with their audience without attaching a negative connotation to their brand. For example, Nike ran an ad featuring a grieving Tiger Woods after a PR nightmare where Tiger Woods was discovered cheating on his wife with multiple women. In the ad, Tiger Woods was spoken to by the voice of his dead father. Tiger was somber and sad not only for being caught but for theoretically losing the approval of his father. This ad allowed Nike to be able to humanize Tiger by connecting the audience to some pretty strong yet universal emotions and therefore prevent an image suggesting that Nike condoned Tiger’s actions.
As we explored in the sadness example, strong negative emotions do not necessarily result in a negative image or message for the brand. Always ran a campaign titled “like a girl” where women and girls of all ages are asked to perform tasks as a girl would. The result is women and girls of all ages representing themselves as the weak sex; this is meant to encourage a sense of anger and disgust from the audience. The commercial then re-defines what it means to perform like a girl and turns the whole thing into a message of empowerment embodied by the women and girls who took part in the commercial. In the end, Always turns into a strong and empowering brand for women.