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Emotional Advertising: 5 Questions to Ask

If you don't feel it...don't run it.
Family watching emotional advertising on tv

Currently the TV landscape is filled with emotional advertising. From praising our healthcare workers to reassuring us that normal will one day return, commercials are working to tug at our emotional heart strings. For advertisers and marketers, understanding more about emotional advertising is important–especially if you need to pivot your messaging in this pandemic environment.

True to its name, emotional advertising works to evoke emotions. Those emotions build connections, incorporating the brand into the viewer’s identity. Sentimental ads generate different degrees of arousal with the audience. High arousal is associated with a more immediate need–e.g. contributing to a food bank. Low arousal produces a more mindful response–e.g. the helping hand offered by an insurance company.

Though usually a top-funnel exercise, emotional advertising speaks to the individual, not the group. If an advertiser is going to run an emotional spot, here are 5 questions that need answering:

1. Does it reach or align with some element of the human spirit?

2. Does it relate to a fundamental human need?

3. Does if support security or belonging?

4. Is it believable?

5. Can they feel it?