Back in 2013, GoPro, in an attempt to advertise their new HD HERO3 camera, released an ad showing a firefighter rescuing an unconscious kitten trapped inside a smoke-filled home. The ad caught the Internet’s attention and was shared numerous times over social media sites. On YouTube, the video currently has over 30 million views.
In another ad titled Puppyhood, a man found a soul mate in a puppy; the video showed a bond between the puppy and the man, and it was so beautiful that almost everyone who saw it had tears in their eyes. Released by Purina in 2015, the ad now has over 12 million views on YouTube.
So what made such campaigns go viral? The answer: it appealed to the viewers’ emotions.
Emotional Connection: An Explanation
Each person is born as an irrational individual, and feelings are everything during our first years of life. Our parents’ hugs are comforting. Thunder is frightening. Meanings are clear, and life is simple. Emotional advertising speaks to that primal tongue. Emotional ads play on our conscious and subconscious desires. This is exactly what makes the ads appealing.
In addition, the ads are effective because we often let our intuition trump our rationale, just as we instinctively trust the person with a warm and firm handshake. We invest in a certain stock because ‘it just feels right’. Or we vote for a certain candidate because ‘he or she can be trusted’.
Making Emotional Advertising Work
Incorporating emotions in an ad, however, can be tricky. It requires the help of an advertising agency, as well as forethought and strategy, so that consumers will really feel something—and that they will act on those feelings.
Start by identifying the dominant mood. Figure out what type of emotion best suits your brand, and make sure it resides on the scale between rational and emotional. Identify the emotions your target market wants to avoid the most as well and take advantage of that through the psychology of pain. It is okay to hit them where it hurts, as long as you provide a solution, however.
Emotions are powerful—use them to your advantage when creating ads, so you can strengthen that emotional connection with your market and build long-term, profitable relationships.