Mar 12 2015

10 Emotions for Effective Marketing

Many factors contribute to an effective marketing strategy. Whether it’s a catchy call to action, a charismatic cast, or an innovative design, there’s one thing that every ad requires: an emotional connection. When crafting an ad, it’s important to appeal to your consumer’s emotions. What do you want your audience to feel after viewing your ad? Happy? Inspired? Competitive? Fearful? Or simply entertained? You can take many directions with your ad, but one aspect you must capture is emotion. Here are ten effective emotions to tap into when putting together an effective marketing strategy:

1. Fear

Fear is a widely used emotion that appears in a variety of marketing messages. Insurance ads, whether presented humorously or not, appeal to fearful emotions because it is what drives you to get auto-accident insurance, theft insurance, or life insurance. But fear can also mean ‘fear of missing out,’ or FOMO. The fear that you’ll miss out on what everyone’s getting into can be an effective method of advertising.

2. Trust

You want your audience to rely on your product or service. When you’re advertising a new car, you want drivers to know that they’ll be safe. When you’re advertising a restaurant or food service, you want customers to know that items are healthy and fresh. Any product or service that you put out there needs to be able to meet expectations, and that’s the foundation of trust.

3. Guilt

Non-profit organizations use this one better than anyone else out there. Guilt is a strong way to motivate your consumers. We’re not necessarily talking about guilt in the gut-wrenching, moral squandering way. Planting the idea that not buying something can inspire guilt, such as Christmas or Mother’s Day shopping, can be very effective.

4. Empowerment

Making your consumers feel in control is valuable when it comes to selling a product. Nonprofit companies also use this as a means of making people feel in control of their actions. Inspiring others to take action means you’re reaching people in a meaningful way.

5. Competition

Feeling equal or better than their peers is a driving force behind consumers and products. If you can inspire competition with your products, you’ll have people racing to get their hands on it. Tech companies use this method because who doesn’t like being one of the first to own the innovative new tablet or smartphone?

6. Belonging

Despite what introverts may say, we all benefit from a communal atmosphere. Knowing that someone is going to be there when you fall can make life go a little smoother. Many consumers buy products in an attempt to feel like they belong with the rest of the group. So if your product or service can connect with the idea of community, you’ll have your own consumer family.

7. Memory

Part of why we take pictures, videos, and record audio is because we want to remember the emotions we were feeling at that time. Looking back on a wedding, a party, an event, or a romantic moment elicits powerful emotions. Photo companies and tech companies use memory as a driving force behind their products.

8. Awe

To be in awe is to feel small and large at the same time. Every company from the auto industry to non-profits uses awe as a means of connecting an audience with their product. It can be as small as silent features on a new car, to grand ideas of space travel.

9. Sadness

While it’s not everyone’s favorite emotion, sadness helps us connect and empathize. From PSAs on drunk driving to Sarah McLachlan’s devastating ASPCA ads, sadness is a powerful emotion when it comes to your ad and can make a seriously strong connection.

10. Love

We do incredible things in the name of love, it’s a powerful, sometimes irrational emotion. Many times we buy things out of love: chocolate, flowers, dinner, or a new car to name a few. But love is more than just romance or unconditional, love can be the love of a new hobby, the love of a culture, or the love of cuisine. There are many forms of love, and they all motivate us to do many things, including buy things.


The most effective marketing and longest lasting ads have been ones that connect with our emotional foundations. We still talk about the ‘Crying Indian ad,’ all these years later. Why? Because of the emotional nature behind its message. Our emotions are important to us, and they inspire us to take part in the world. Be it large or small, the use of emotion as a means of an effective marketing strategy is a smart one to take advantage of. It makes all the difference.


Looking to strike an emotional chord with your audience? [ 2 one 5 ] can help, give us a shout!

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