Emotional Marketing: Creating Ads Your Customers Will Love

When was the last time you purchased something based on a rational decision? And when was the last time you purchased something based on an emotional decision? We’re guessing the latter happened more recently and is likely to happen often too. That’s the theory behind emotional marketing. Because feelings often beat logic when it comes to making a purchase decision. 

Why, feelings, and emotions even have a strong role to play when it comes to remembering and recalling a brand. Let’s prove that with an example. 

Have you seen this iPhone 13 ad? Can you relate to this moment of panic? Now imagine there was a simple ad that says that the phone comes with durable build quality. Which of these ads do you think you’ll remember? The one that made you virtually relive the panic, right? Can you see what playing with emotions does? It makes an ad memorable. It makes an ad, and therefore the brand, easy to recall. That’s what we are going to discuss today – emotional marketing. 

Have you felt that no matter how hard you try your message somehow does not evoke the intended response from your audience? It could mean that your ads are only stimulating them visually and cognitively, and not emotionally. Let’s tackle that gap today. In this blog, we’ll give you a quick peek into the benefits of emotional marketing and how to create emotionally stimulating ads for your brand. 

Emotional marketing – the benefits we should be talking about more often 

Aesthetic Visuals + Strong Copy = Ad 

Aesthetic Visuals + Strong Copy + Emotions = Great Ad 

So, do you want an ad or a great ad? The latter, no doubt. If you are not convinced about the need for emotions in design, here are a few quick facts you should hear. 

  • In the 70’s the number of ads an average person encountered per day was around 500. And today this number has risen to 5000. This includes ads displayed on websites, social media, the billboards you cross, and even the newspaper ad you subconsciously avoid. Of these thousands of ads presented, ones with a strong emotional value are more likely to be remembered. 
  • Emotionally-stimulating ads have the potential to increase sales by about 23%. Emotional marketing has the potential to convert leads to customers by winning their trust and getting them to make a purchase. 
  • Emotional marketing helps improve customer loyalty. Would you go back to a brand that does not interact with you regularly or feel human? Your customers wouldn’t either. 
  • Looking for customer referrals? They only come from customers who are emotionally attached to your brand. Customers are more likely to share ads with strong sentiments that they can relate to. 
  • Emotional marketing is one way to humanize your brand. Brands that lack a human touch appear formidable. Keeping customers away is definitely not on your checklist! So add a pinch of emotions to your marketing and branding and appear more human and approachable to your consumers. 

To sum it up – create ads that evoke joy, move people to tears, challenge their perception, or make them laugh. That’s how you win their hearts. And that’s how you sustain your position even amidst steadily rising competition. 

Emotions to include in your ads and examples that show how to 

If you are wondering what kind of emotions to use in your ads and how to use them, we got you. Let’s look at some ads that were recognized for the sentiments they carry. These are ads that are remembered for the deeper meaning they pack. 

1. Sorrow 

Sorrow is perhaps not the first emotion that comes to your mind when you are narrowing down your ad concepts. But let’s look at an ad that shows how you can move your audience using sorrow as the theme. 

The above commercial from P&G titled, “Thank You, Mom” starts on a sad note. The sorrow of the mothers of the disadvantaged and bullied children slowly creeps into the minds of the audience as well. That’s how the brand makes you feel like you are a part of the scene. But what really makes the ad stand out is the positivity it portrays in the end and the thought-provoking message it gives the audience. 

2. Love 

Ah! The universal emotion – it works like a charm in marketing. We’ll jump straight to the example before we even talk about using this emotion in your ad. After all, love speaks louder than words! 

The above video shows Google’s Super Bowl commercial titled Loretta. It is inarguably one of the best ads featuring the emotion of love. The ad won several hearts because it highlights the immortality of love. In a few simple frames, it puts you in the life of Loretta and her husband. 

The ad has you empathizing with the husband who fondly looks back into his memories after his wife’s passing. All this in the perspective of how Google makes it easier to remember things and have them all in one place. What a brilliant way to create ads, don’t you agree? 

3. Inspiration 

You can never go wrong with motivational content. In fact, people tend to share inspirational content on their social feeds. We are not talking about cheesy cliched ideas but real motivational ones that a majority of your target audience can relate to. 

Nike’s “Dream Crazier” commercial is a good example. 

This Nike ad also works because it is spot-on with respect to the brand values and the rest of the promotional content the brand shares. Nike’s Instagram feed is flooded with inspirational content on sports. It talks about prominent people in sports and not about the sports shoes the brand sells. So, inspiration feels like a relevant sentiment for the brand. 

4. Convey a social message 

Uber’s “Thank You For Not Riding” commercial is an example of how you can create something beautiful by prioritizing your customers over your brand. 

Will ads like these bring sales? Not directly. Will they have a CTA that increases email signups or app downloads? No again! 

But will ads like these win hearts? Yes! Will ads like these build lasting customer relationships? Without a doubt. 

Because ads like these show customers that you care about them even when they are not contributing to your business and that’s one way to earn their respect. 

5. Happiness 

Who doesn’t like a happy commercial? Using happiness as the core emotion in your ad is another way to connect with your customers. 

But remember, you do not want an ad that looks happy – you want something that feels happy. There’s a difference. Feature concepts that portray a relatable kind of “happy”. Here’s an example from Hyundai. 

An ad like this is sure to make your customers feel happy for the people featured in the ad. That’s a good way to connect with your brand. 

When you use happiness as the core emotion in your ad, keeping it realistic is important too. Coca-Cola’s famed tagline is Open Happiness. But according to Rodolfo Echeverria, the brand’s global vice-president of creative, connections, and digital, happiness is overutilized in advertising. So, tread with caution when you use this emotion in your ad. You do not want something that looks hackneyed. Focus on featuring genuinely happy ads. 

6. Fear 

In some niches, fear tends to work as one of the strongest assets in advertising. Especially if the brand is about offering something comforting or something that’s intended to increase safety. For example, a tire company that creates ads about road safety might find it productive to incorporate the fear of accidents into its ads. 

Fear is not a negative feeling in advertising. Like sorrow, fear can be used to create thought-provoking ads. We’ll give you an example. The below commercial is meant to delve into the idea of alcohol addiction awareness. 

The above video makes the viewer feel the fear of the children. It makes them wish that their children are never put through such situations. And thus it delivers the message loud and clear. 

7. Nostalgia 

Nostalgia is one of the least-used and yet one of the most effective emotions in advertising. Taking your consumers down memory lane isn’t easy. But when done well it is highly stimulating and therefore you are left with an ad that’s hard to forget. 

Google’s version of Home Alone is a witty take on the much-loved movie from 1990. The ad makes Home Alone fans feel nostalgic. 

The adorable character, Kevin McCallister is back on screen, but all grown up. And Macaulay Culkin reprises his role and recreates the scenes brilliantly but only this time safeguarding his home is much easier thanks to Google! 

The ad in every frame shows off the capabilities of the product (the brand) being advertised. But the subtlety of it makes the concept shine. 

8. Humor 

Last, but not least, one of the strongest and the most effective emotions that work for almost all brands, all industries, and with people of all age groups is humor. 

Humor is easy to establish in video and static ads alike. Here’s an example from IKEA known for its witty outdoor ads. 

The above billboard is a fun take on assembly fails. It makes any onlooker smile thinking “we’ve all been there!”. That’s a good feeling to evoke. So, it works! 

Kimp Tip: Humor comes in all shapes and sizes but remember the thin line between humor and offense. So, pick concepts that are relatable but not insensitive. Double-check the meaning of symbols and words you choose to establish the humor so that you do not end up creating something that hurts the feelings of your customers. 

Having spoken about the kinds of emotions that can add value to your ads, let’s also look at some ways to effectively integrate these emotions into your design. These little tips are useful even if your ads are going to be static images and not videos. 

Design tips that help shape emotional marketing  

1. People deliver emotions in the most effective way 

Colors, fonts, and other elements can be used to convey particular emotions and we’ll talk about them in the next sections. But the easiest way to do this is with a human touch. Use headshots, and lifestyle photos of people using your products or services. 

The below social media design promotes a mattress. An image of the mattress in a fancy bedroom would have done the job. But the happy family sitting on the mattress adds more depth to the design. It adds emotions to the design. 

Social media design by Kimp

Kimp Tip: Wondering what kinds of scenes or sentiments to use in your image? These could be scenes capturing the happiness, comfort or safety that your customers experience on using your products/services. Or they could be images capturing the pain, fear or difficulties that your products/services eliminate. 

For all those last-minute campaigns if you need to come up with an emotionally-rich design to use on social media, choose a Kimp Graphics subscription. 

2. Make the most of color psychology 

We speak about color psychology in several places because that’s just how important colors are in graphic design. After all, when we ask you to visualize an ad for a brand selling kids’ fashion would you think of an all-black design? Because, black might be a great color of sophistication but it’s not seen as a happy color. 

Instead, warm hues like yellow and orange are seen as happy colors. Green is seen as a relaxing color. While colors on their own might not make the intended impact, when combined with the right visuals, the results are spectacular. 

Red in the below design captures the festivity and the excitement of the occasion and the thrill in winning the giveaway. 

Social media design by Kimp

Kimp Tip: When you pick colors for a particular mood, understand the cultural implications as well. Because some colors are perceived differently in different parts of the world. 

3. Fonts have feelings too

It’s not just colors that have moods – fonts do too. Don’t believe us, see for yourself in the below example. The text and colors are all the same in both the images with just the difference in fonts. And yet the moods are drastically different. 

The below design is meant to be light-hearted and fun. The casual hand-written font supports this idea. Do you think the design would have captured a similar mood with traditional serif fonts? Not at all! That’s proof that your fonts directly influence the emotions in your design. 

Social media design by Kimp
4. The strength in symbols 

Symbols have different meanings. We are so used to connecting certain symbols to certain occasions and emotions that adding them to your design makes a huge difference. For example, confetti, party streamers and balloons instantly make you feel festive. So, they fit well and capture the mood of the below design that’s meant to convey New Year wishes. 

Social media design by Kimp
5. Align copy and design 

Say, you are creating a nostalgic ad intended to resonate with the 60s. You have chosen muted colors that induce nostalgia, fonts and design elements that perfect capture the 60s vibes. Finally, if your copy quotes a line from a futuristic sci-fi thriller from the 2020’s do you think your ad will stir up nostalgia? Probably not. That’s why we say copy and design are inseparable entities that together make or break the ad’s effectiveness. 

Every word in your copy should evoke the feelings intended. A bland copy does no justice to an emotive design. You do not even need a poetic copy for this. All it takes is a line that’s emotionally stimulating.

Here’s an example. 

Flyer design by Kimp

The above flyer could have used a simpler copy about “All-laser-LASIK” but that would have been weak. Instead, the copy asks the reader to “imagine life without glasses or contacts”. This gets any glass-wearer to imagine the freedom and the portrayed photo captures the happiness in the freedom. Together they work their magic. See, despite the simplicity of the idea, the copy and design work together to create the intended impact. That’s what you need in your ads. 

Create emotional, not just promotional designs, with Kimp 

Emotional marketing is often that secret sauce that helps show how unique your brand is. It’s a much-needed step for any brand that’s looking to build lasting customer relationships. So, start adding more emotions to your ads to bring them to life. That’s how you show your customers the human side of your brand and thus connect with them better. But yes, it takes some trial and error to figure out the right kind of emotions that work for your brand and for each occasion. With Kimp’s subscriptions covering unlimited designs, experimenting with different styles and ideas becomes so much simpler and cost-effective too. 

Register now for a free trial and start experimenting with emotions that work well for your brand.