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Emotional Marketing: Make an Impact by Pulling at Heartstrings

Use emotional marketing tactics to elevate your content and improve your marketing strategy to engage your consumer audience

In a lot of my blog posts, I touch on the importance of connecting with your consumers. Your audience doesn’t simply want to see and hear you. They want to feel you and connect with your brand on an emotional level. That’s where emotional marketing comes in.

What is emotional marketing?

Emotional marketing is telling a story that arouses emotions within your target audience and builds a human connection. This connection between brand and consumer develops into a beautiful relationship, bringing your brand a loyal following and, ultimately, a higher ROI.

In a study on consumers’ buying habits, researchers determined that an emotional response to an ad was far more influential than the actual content itself.

Douglas Van Praet, author of Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing, hit the nail on the head when he said:

“The most startling truth is we don’t even think our way to logical solutions. We feel our way to reason.”

As complex as the human brain may be, most of our emotions arise from 4 feelings: Happiness, Sadness, Fear/Shock and Anger. Obviously, not all of these feelings are positive. You’re probably wondering why you’d ever attempt to make your audience feel anything other than positivity, but hear me out. These different feelings determine which path we take for some of our toughest decisions.


Think of the messages you typically share with your friends and family. For me, it’s usually content that would make them smile, laugh, or feel inspired. Studies show that positive emotions are more likely to compel consumers to share than negative emotions.

One of my favorite examples of “happy marketing” is a throwback! This Lego ad from 1981 encourages children to use their imaginations and fearlessly express themselves.


Wanna elevate your brand reach? Start by creating positive content! Use words that provoke positivity to wake up the “happy” in consumers’ brains.


There is something undeniably intriguing about sadness. Words associated with negativity generally have a much higher click-through rate. Research shows that negative words like “never” are 30% more likely to grab someone’s attention.

Just make sure you don’t devastate your audience and then leave them high and dry. The trick is to promise that your brand has the solution to their negative feelings.

This ASPCA tear-ad is an example of an effective “sadvertisement”. ASPCA starts by evoking feelings of sadness by sharing a statistic on dog euthanization, but the ad follows up with encouraging consumers to adopt.



Fear is something we all experience from time to time. Whether you’re freaking out about the spider on the ceiling or worrying about the state of the world today – fear is inevitable. But one thing’s for sure- fear creates a sense of urgency in consumers.

In an emotional marketing strategy, fear is a slippery slope. You see, fear is a more complicated emotion than “happy” or “sad”. If you push your customers too far, they might become angry.

A good example of fear-based marketing done right is Logitech’s Video Security ad which simply asked: “Who’s babysitting your babysitter?”


This campaign is genius for many reasons. One simple question asks what parents have probably already asked themselves – can their babysitter be trusted? The headline shows customers that they’re not alone in their fear while specifically relating to the brand’s video security system.


Most companies assume that it’s best to avoid angering their target audience, but under the right circumstances, anger can have a powerful impact when worked into your emotional marketing strategy. When a strategy effectively evokes anger, the consumer is driven to take action.

The New York Times ad “The Truth is Hard” demonstrates the difficulty of finding honesty in media. “Fake news” angers everyone, but the New York Times promises that when you get news from them, it is honest and transparent.

Back to You

It doesn’t matter how logical you consider yourself to be. Emotion is what brings brands and consumers together.

Consumers are becoming more focused on the relationships established as they make their buying decisions, and people from all walks of life have begun to associate themselves with brands that relate to their personal values and emotions.

When correctly implemented, an emotional marketing strategy can help your brand stand out.

Are you ready to get emotional? Let us help you get to the heart of emotional marketing.



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