Explore emotions to develop more persuasive campaigns.


According to a recent post in Digiday, several major publishers have been researching the effectiveness of targeting ads to moods. Dubbed "Project Feels," this effort uses data to show a link between the emotions that stories are likely to evoke and ad performance.

As a Creative Facilitator, incorporating detours that connect to the target consumer's emotions is a powerful way to develop more persuasive campaigns. Contemporary research suggests there are six universal emotions we all feel: happiness, anger, disgust, sadness, fear and surprise.

In advertising, words and images are used to illicit these emotions. For example:

  1. Happiness: Suggesting positive concepts like adventure, elegance and playfulness bring to mind youth, luxury and feeling good.
  2. Anger: Upsetting people about things like environmental issues, company and government policies or political candidates.
  3. Disgust: Making people feel bad about themselves in order to sell medications, diet plans and miracle remedies.
  4. Sadness: Evoking a sense of compassion or empathy to draw awareness to specific issues.
  5. Fear: Used to deter people from harmful behaviors like smoking or drug use.
  6. Surprise: Making use of surprise elicits both positive and negative responses, depending on which emotion it is paired with.

Here are some techniques to use emotions as Development detours:

  1. Activation marketing objective: What elements might we add to make the target consumer feel [insert emotion] after doing the behavior suggested by the marketing objective?
  2. Brand marketing objective: What emotion might we portray to help the target believe a valuable point of difference about the product or service?
  3. Trigger: What emotions might the target associate with the trigger that put them in the market for this product or service? How might we incorporate those emotions into our campaign?


Source: Emolytics.com. Click here to see examples of ads connected to each emotion.
Source: Digiday

Contact Coach K for more help in exploring emotions in Development.