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Emotions & Advertising

Jay C Nov 1, 2018
Emotions & advertising are, most surprisingly, very closely related. Making use of emotions in order to advertise is very common strategy.
Feelings, sentiments, affection, concern are all various words for emotions. These values are no use in business, as one rightly says, where there are emotions, there is no business development, when the business does not develop, economic growth stagnates. However, ironically, it is a tool that can benefit the business in a large way, by means of marketing.
These values mentioned, are actually weapons of advertising firms to kill the viewer's intention to buy any other product than a product for which an advertisement is made. That's why Fred Allen said, Advertising is 85% confusion and 15% commission.


Emotion is another word for feelings. Some common ones are anger, fear, love, sadness, grief, jealousy, hurt, disappointment and joy. We may have these feelings in response to things that are going on at the moment or when we remember something that happened in the past.
Frequently, we also experience physiological changes, such as feeling hot; faster heartbeats, changes in our breathing, knotting in our stomachs, etc., when we feel an emotion.

Emotions & Advertising

Emotions are arguably defined as bodily changes, together with mental change, influencing one's decisions, sometimes out of the normal pattern for the individual, used particularly in reference to buying behavior.
Advertisement is full of appeals. There is hardly any advertisement, which has not appeals to make. General appeals include featuring product, drives & instincts (needs), motives, emotions, roles, personality traits, values, traditions, attitudes, beliefs and knowledge. An emotion is one of the best appeals in advertising.


It means product advertising appealing to emotional desires, rather than logic, economy, or utility. Some emotions that are catered to viewers in different advertisements are fear, hope, anxiety, love, distress, surprise, guilt, shame, interest, excitement, joy, anger, disgust, contempt or loathing, sadness, happiness, amusement, peacefulness, grief, trust.


General Motors Corp tied up Chevrolet in America as an "American Revolution." The same GM introduced Chevrolet in India weaving all Indian traditions under campaign of "I am Chevrolet".
The 'Josh' machine campaign gave a young-at-heart image for high brand recall to Ford Icon.
'Youthful Individuality', the soul of Levi's brand, defined universal values, originality, self-confidence, integrity.
Titan had launched range of watches most suited to personality and attitude of the person. There is an advertisement wherein the father and the younger daughter gift a Titan watch to the elder daughter on the occasion of her marriage.
Raymond (woolen and worsted textiles) is uniquely positioned as a brand that addresses the innate need of men to look good, and at the same time possess strength of character. This emphasis on human values creates a warm emotional link with consumers - the essence of 'The Complete Man'.
THE ICICI Prudential Advertisement brings out the emotional appeal of the husband and wife and therefore is able to move consumers into considering the brand seriously.


Such feelings help advertisers to create brands. Brands are built in the minds and hearts of customers, and it is important to understand that consumers like and consume brands rationally as well as emotionally.
In countries like India, emotions are definitely a critical factor in consumers, accepting and loving brands. Promotions like small offers & reduction in prices or buy & win leaves short term impact on customer's mind whereas emotional appeal helps an advertiser to put long-lasting impact.


Abraham Maslow, a famous psychologist, identified 5 groups of needs that people have and that emerge one after another, after each need is meet.
  • Basic Physiological needs
  • Safety and security needs
  • The need of Belongingness and love
  • Esteem needs
  • Self-actualization needs
The success of long-lasting effect of any advertisement largely depends on in which stage we are and what our main needs are.


Beer commercials are so patriotic: 'Made the American Way.' What does that have to do with America? Is that what America stands for? Feeling sluggish and urinating frequently?
 - Evelyn Waugh
In a nutshell, advertisement improves brand's impression, personality, and value with feelings.