Arguably some of the most memorable marketing campaigns of all time were those designed to appeal to the emotion of the viewer.
Over the summer Wal-Mart aired TV commercials targeting students (and their parents) who were heading off to college.
The message- Everything you need is at Wal-Mart… dorm supplies, school gear, electronics, clothes, etc.
In one commercial spot a mom was helping her daughter set-up her new dorm room. At the end of the commercial, the mother had left the building to head home and her daughter ran after her for one last “thank you” hug…. The commercial ad was sweet. It had great emotional appeal to the millions of parents and their children heading off to college.
My favorite sitcom growing up was the popular TV show Growing Pains. In one particular episode the daughter, Carol (Tracy Gold), was discussing with her friend Annie (guest star Katie Boyer) how the long-distance commercials made them cry… (Keep in mind this episode was from 1987, before the age of cell phones and Social Media communication.)
The idea behind the old “long-distance” commercials was to conjure up feelings that target the emotion of the viewer. If watching them made you cry, then the marketers were doing their jobs.
Lots of brands consistently play on viewer emotion: Campbell’s Soup (a child is sick at home in bed or a child coming in from the cold… all they need to feel better is soup); Maxwell House Coffee; Kodak Pictures; Kleenex; Disney World; ever Budweiser (all the donkey wanted was to be a Clydesdale); and many more brands. Emotional marketing can also be found in various entire industries such as insurance, pharmaceuticals, and security systems.
When developing an Emotional Marketing Campaign, consumer response to emotion typically falls into 1 of 3 categories.
Including: desire, joy, affection, and pride
Including: interest, surprise, and involvement
Including: guilt, sadness, fear, conflict, and skepticism
Moving into the holiday season, you should expect to see many emotional marketing campaigns on the air, in print, and on the web. Lexus, for example, is well known for their seasonal car commercials. Who wouldn’t want to wake-up on Christmas morning to find a brand new car, big red bow and all, in the driveway? Consumers often tend to seek out products that provide positive emotional arousal. So, keep that in mind when planning to tap into your consumer markets emotion.