Feels Like a Memorable Brand: 3 Ways Emotion Increases the Effectiveness of Advertising


The Neuro-Rich Series: Part 2
In the second edition of our Neuro-Rich Series we look at how to use emotion as a tool to make your brand more memorable and ultimately lead to more sales.


Don’t Just Show Emotion, Evoke It

Whilst there is a certain type of emotion that leads the pack (we’ll get into that later), on the whole the evidence shows that both positive and negative emotions can be effective. In other words, the most important objective here is to evoke an emotional response in your audience. 

Many brands currently miss out on this opportunity by choosing a rational execution - believing that their product’s point of difference is incredibly persuasive. Then there are other brands that use emotion but misinterpret its objective and look to simply show their target buyer having an emotional experience in the ad. This mirror method, quite often used in the ‘slice of life’ ad technique, rarely works as well. 

The Ikea Lamp ad is a great example of a spot that makes the most of this opportunity by managing to trigger both negative and positive emotions. It starts as a tear jerker and then finishes with a very funny twist.


Strong vs Weak Reactions  

Ads which elicit strong reactions don’t just get more attention, they also get more sales. In her study, Professor Karen Nelson-Field found that, “those which generated a high emotional response had a 2.4X greater sales impact than ads which elicited a low response.”

Ultimately this is where the value of creativity truly comes into play. For marketers this is partly where you put the challenge to your creative agency to develop work that will deliver a stronger emotional response and partly where you give them the freedom to do so. 

The classic Volkswagen Polo ad, ‘Protection’, takes you on an dangerous journey with an astonishing twist at the end to bring it all back to the brand.


Give Your Brand The Last Laugh (For Now Anyway)

Although the research shows that different types of emotions can be highly effective, humour appears to have a competitive edge. There could be a number of reasons for this including the fact that humour has a positive pay off and usually requires low investment from the viewer. 

The key takeout here is that making your audience laugh rewards both the audience and the brand. Of course, it may not be the right tone of voice for your brand but if you can make it work the benefits are clear.  

The Snickers, ‘You’re Not You When You’re Hungry’ brand platform  is a great example of a brand understanding both the power of humour and the importance of it being linked to the brand’s benefit.

Matt Arbon