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Emotional Marketing: 7 Basic Emotions and How Brands Provoke them with Video Ads

Updated: May 23, 2023

emotional marketing

The belief that we choose one product over another based on its price or quality is a misconception. Instead, it's the emotions that the product evokes within us that drive our preferences. Our brains are not rational but rather hedonistic and emotional, creating attitudes towards people and things based on the emotions they provoke. Although this may seem simple, it can be complicated because sometimes we are attracted to strange things, as seen in contemporary advertising. Brands invest millions to provoke emotions because it's one of the best ways to attract and retain customers. This article explores why brands use emotions in advertising by showcasing ad masterpieces that elicit a range of emotions from amazement and happiness to antipathy and hatred.


The concept of happiness is effectively conveyed in this advertisement without the use of language. Within the first few seconds, the message is delivered and understood by the viewer. It is highly likely that you found yourself smiling between the 30th and 40th second of the video. Upon completion, you may have felt more energized and content than you did a minute prior. This is due to the strong associations that were formed between the product and positive emotions within your brain. The ultimate goal of brands is to establish an emotional connection with their product, rather than solely emphasizing its physical attributes.


Utilizing storytelling, this advertisement takes a unique approach to capturing the viewer's attention and generating amazement - a powerful tool in modern marketing. Its effectiveness lies in its ability to connect with the viewer on an emotional level by touching on fundamental values in a touching and intimate manner. It's nearly impossible not to be moved while watching it, making it a resounding success from a marketing standpoint.


Observing co-workers devouring their meals at their desks may evoke feelings of contempt within you. However, it's likely that you've found yourself in a similar situation before, perhaps when faced with a pressing task or deadline. Contempt is a potent emotion that invites comparisons between yourself and others, and can influence the types of behaviors you associate with. In terms of marketing, this emotion can be a useful tool in triggering associations with a particular product. For instance, in the case of witnessing "desk lunches," contempt can create an emotional link between the product and the viewer, encouraging them to either associate or distance themselves from the situation. Ultimately, this can lead to a stronger connection with the product when confronted with similar scenarios in the future.


It's undeniable that sometimes we yearn for feelings of melancholy and even sadness, just as we do for happiness and joy. Think back to the last time you were let down, and turned to sad music that only intensified your feelings of sorrow. Brands are aware of this aspect of human psychology and understand that appealing to the somber side of the ego requires more creativity and skill than evoking joyful emotions. Johnnie Walker executed this strategy perfectly by depicting moments in life when individuals are most likely to pour themselves a drink and contemplate significant and personal matters, tapping into the audience's desire for introspection and melancholic reflection.


Provoking feelings of embarrassment and anxiety can be an effective strategy for capturing people's attention. The ice-cream commercial in question is both alarming and eerie, yet undeniably captivating. The company's objective is to establish a strong emotional connection between the product and the viewer, compelling them to give it a try. Additionally, the motivational text featured in the ad is incongruous with the unsettling imagery, underscoring the message of controversy. The predominantly black and white color scheme adds to the overall impact. As humans, we are drawn to unconventional and absurd things, which is why the discomforting nature of this advertisement is oddly enjoyable to watch.


Certain brands utilize repulsive images to amplify aspects that we find unpleasant. Wrigleys' advertisement elicits a strong feeling of antipathy towards the topic at hand, which happens to be a common concern for many people - bad breath. The product is portrayed as a swift solution to the undesirable consequences of bad breath. Consequently, the next time you find yourself in a situation such as a job interview or a date, this advertisement may come to mind, reminding you of this particular remedy that can help you avoid potential embarrassment.


In this advertisement, the traditional notion that children are the "joy of life" is challenged, as it portrays them as malevolent beings that one may actually despise. The fact that this commercial is promoting Durex contraceptives adds a layer of irony to the mix, playing with viewers' emotions towards children. The product is depicted as a solution to a rather sensitive issue. Using negative emotions towards things that are generally considered "good" is yet another tactic used to convey a memorable message about the product.

When attempting to establish an emotional connection between customers and products, brands often rely on seven fundamental emotions. If you're looking for ways to enhance your marketing strategy, utilizing the aforementioned tactics and techniques can prove to be quite helpful. However, it is essential to find an effective method for measuring the emotions you intend to evoke through your content. Let Empath help you with this!

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