What is Emotional Marketing Everyone's Talking About?

What is Emotional Marketing Everyone's Talking About?

Rhema Hans
Rhema Hans
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
“People don’t buy for logical reasons; they buy for emotional reasons.”

These golden words by Zig Ziglar explains what is selling a product or service today. Purely emotional content performs twice as well, 31% vs. 16%, compared to those with only rational content. This is the power of emotional marketing.

What is emotional marketing?

Have you ever been moved by a social media post, YouTube video, advertisement, or blog post? If yes, then that’s what emotional marketing is. Ever since the companies discovered emotional marketing, in no time it became their superweapon. Be it Apple’s think different campaign or Coke’s open happiness campaign, emotional marketing has garnered the most amount of attention for brand. So, to help you bring your A-game too in marketing here is a detailed article on emotional marketing. Let’s delve right into it!

This article will cover the following:

  • What is emotional marketing?
  • Benefits of emotional marketing?
  • How does emotional marketing work?
  • Types of emotions popularly used in marketing.
  • Top strategies to excel emotional marketing.
  • Don’ts in emotional marketing.
  • Best examples of emotional marketing.
  • How to measure emotional marketing?
  • How can Deskera assist you?
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What is Emotional Marketing?

Plutchik's wheel of emotion

Emotional marketing is the deliberate use of persuasive messages that tap into human emotion to form a deep connection with the audience toward achieving the desired result.

Often, it appeals to a single emotion only. It can be fear, anger, joy, or any other human emotion that is strong enough to influence decision-making or urge an action.

Your consumers or the people, in general, feel uneasy when their emotions are unaddressed. Hence, it’s necessary that they free themselves from it and act accordingly.

As a result, most often than not, this action gives businesses better sales figures. According to a Nielson study, the advertisements and the marketing efforts with an above-average emotional response from consumers caused a 23% sales increase as opposed to average ads.

Emotional marketing typically touches on a singular emotion, like happiness, sadness, anger, or fear, to evoke a consumer response. You can evoke different emotions depending upon your product and industry. It will impact your marketing strategies, including your copywriting, media, graphics choices, etc., and help it be as powerful as possible. If you are looking for some marketing techniques too, here is a starter pack for 2022, guide to marketing techniques.

Clearly, emotional marketing is a good practice if you want to grow. Not convinced yet? Let’s look at some of the major benefits of emotional marketing for your company.

Benefits of Emotional Marketing

Benefits of emotional marketing

Easy to Connect

The first and foremost benefit of emotional marketing is that it makes your content extremely easy for your audience to connect. The more relatable your content is, the easier it is for you to build a bond with your audience.

In marketing, it is all about reach, reaching the most number of people, and selling your product to them. With emotional marketing, you make your content shareable. When was the last time you scrolled through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and shared a post? What caused you to share that post? Was it something that made you giggle with happiness? Cringe with sadness or despair? Fume with anger or frustration?

We share content that makes us feel a certain way. So if your product, service, blog, or social post is crafted to incite an emotional pull, your audience is more likely to be compelled to share it. As a result, you will have more reach.

Easy to Remember

Your marketing that is trying to evoke emotions, if successful, will definitely leave a mark. Whenever your consumer looks at your product, the same feeling will be associated with it.

We all are looking for people who just understand us. Who understands our fears, roadblocks, challenges, and somewhat have the solution to. As a company, you also have the power to do that with your marketing.

By this, your consumers will not only remember the content you have created but the product, brand associated with it.  

Inspires Action

As a brand, what you want is your customer's engagement with your products. This engagement results in more reach. Emotional marketing makes for a very powerful tool for eliciting a purchase or two. It also encourages people to engage with your brand that can help grow your business and brand.

Loyal Customers

Emotions are very powerful. It takes one action to evoke an emotion and have a long-lasting effect—the same as emotional marketing. If you happen to evoke emotions with your marketing efforts, it will have a long-lasting positive impact on your customer. As a result, they will build a bond with you and stay loyal to you.

If you have a great friend that is always there for you, listens to your problems, helps you through challenges, and makes you feel good about yourself, you'd do anything for that friend.

The same goes for the relationships with your customers and clients. Placing more value on your relationship and how they feel when they work with you will inspire loyalty, and they'll become long-term customers.

Self Satisfaction

This is probably the benefit of emotional marketing companies that we don't talk about enough. Kudos to all the companies who wish to transform the lives of their customers by making a solid impact and adding value to their consumers’ lives.

There is immense self-satisfaction in offering a great product and sending out a strong message to its customers. With emotional marketing, you will know intimately how you help transform people's lives, which will increase your confidence and positivity.

Connecting with your customers on an emotional level won't just help you grow your brand or help your bank account, but it will help your outlook on life as well. Talking about connecting with people, apart from emotional marketing SMS marketing is a great way of connecting with your consumers too.  

How Does Emotional Marketing Work?

While there are nearly 30 identified emotions that humans experience on a minute-by-minute basis, they mostly stem from these four core emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, and anger.

Emotions are so much a part of our living experience as human beings that we experience at least one emotion 90 percent of the time. That’s over 21 hours of the day that we feel some kind of emotion, meaning that we are emotional beings even when we sleep. And if you’ve ever woken up deep in a dream, then you know that to be true. It’s not just that, though.

Emotions came to be a survival mechanism in our developing brains, making up for the fact that we weren’t as strong or as fast as our competitors. Though we couldn’t out-climb, out-run, or out-hunt other animals in the natural world, we could out-think them, finding creative solutions to survival problems and learning about the danger before it threatened our lives. This is all thanks to our big, beautiful brains!

Emotions played a major role in it as they helped us learn when to pay attention to danger (that’s why fear is such a valuable emotion) and when to know that we can trust another person (love and happiness are essential to our survival for this reason).

They are so much a part of who we are that they are in the oldest part of our brains, often called the ‘reptilian brain‘ in reference to how far back they go in our evolutionary development.

The rest of our brain, such as the prefrontal cortex where our personality and decision-making abilities reside, was formed around our reptilian brain, which sits like a ball at the top of our spinal column deep inside the folds of our cortex. All this to say: emotions are a BIG part of who we are.

Everything we do, from the clothing we wear to the people we love, stems from our emotions. So yeah, creating a content marketing strategy that taps into human emotions is a really good idea.

Luckily for you, marketing teams big and small have already studied this and learned a few things that you can easily incorporate into your own marketing campaigns.

Types of Emotions Used in Marketing


Fear is used in marketing to nudge the customers to commit to making a purchase on a product or service. This is relatable because before committing to making a purchase, you’d experience some level of fear.


A considerable fraction of customers appreciate items that lighten their lives with moments of joy. Therefore, if you intend to use joy in your marketing campaigns, be sure to identify the things which lighten your audience’s moods.


Emotions like romance, affection, and love can move someone in ways they never imagined.

Self - Esteem

You can develop a powerful marketing campaign geared towards making your prospects feel good about themselves.


Surprise is a strong emotion, and if you succeed in triggering it, you could be just a step away from becoming a household name. Even though the surprise is such a strong marketing tool, there is a risk of making your brand less exciting, so you will typically need to tread with care.


Marketing that makes people feel sad is powerful. You might wonder why any company would intentionally break the hearts of its audience. It's because in marketing, creating sadness can persuade people to act.

Anger & Disgust

Anger and disgust are negative emotions, but they can still provoke a positive reaction if used properly in a campaign.


Every person wants to belong to a group, a community, a family, or a social network. The feeling of belonging helps customers satisfy their key psychological needs.


People are easily influenced by messages that make them feel guilty.


This emotion is intended for all consumers who want to look smart and be proud of making a good choice.


Delighting the customer is one of the main goals of marketers, and it usually happens when we make them feel like they’re getting more than what they’re paying for. It’s totally natural and boils down to greed.

Top Strategies to Excel Emotional Marketing

#1 Understand your Audience

Knowing your audience is important in emotional marketing so consider performing market research on what could elicit an emotional reaction in your advertisements. Research if any competitors have been successful in emotional marketing to see what consumers connect to. Create marketing materials that connect to potential consumers' fears, desires, dreams, or memories.

#2 Make Use of Color

Colors can create emotional responses in people. Leveraging different colors for distinct purposes can affect how people feel toward certain products or companies. For example, people might associate the color green with health and environmental awareness, while red can elicit emotions like excitement, joy, and passion. You can include color with location, people's clothes, or distinguished objects in advertisements.

#3 Tell a Story

A narrative can be more memorable than a simple product description. Telling a story that your customers can relate to may encourage them to seek out your content in other places.

For example, if a customer who engages in similar activities sees a video ad featuring a dog and his owner fishing, they might seek the social media account of that company to access similar content. Similarly, they may consider the product advertised because they might share a similar story.

#4 Inspire

You can foster inspiration with advertising that highlights a character's accomplishments while convincing the consumer they could achieve the same. This is common with famous athletes in major brand commercials.

These campaigns might show what adversities the athletes overcame before their success. Similarly, companies might commit to a good cause like environmental cleanup or fighting for social justice to inspire their consumers to both consider their brand and get involved themselves.

#5 Create Aspirations

Similar to inspiration, companies may consider how showcasing that people can achieve significant goals may help consumers aspire to set higher goals themselves.

The brand might suggest that if a customer uses their product, they might achieve a specific result. Rather than false advertising, emotional marketing may simply give the appearance of this connection. For example, a living room furniture commercial may show a family relaxing, happy, and gathered on a couch watching movies and laughing. This can imply their furniture may inspire happiness in the home.

#6 Location

Location-based marketing can target emotional responses from the residents where companies do business. A company would sponsor local events, provide services to local people or businesses, or simply feature locations in their advertising. Each of these actions can make people feel connected to a brand if they already have emotional connections to the location.

#7 Leverage Milestones

Milestones in marketing can make people feel nostalgic or that they relate to certain companies. This can target holidays, events like anniversaries, or certain times of the year.

For example, a camera company might advertise a family using their equipment to photograph their new baby and flash forward to taking pictures at graduation. This can make people feel emotional about their own family experiences and milestones, creating a memorable connection.

#8 Connect

Love is an experience that consumers might seek in their daily lives. By replicating this, a company can appear more human. For example, an advertisement may express a brand's commitment to customers or its passion when designing a product, showing behaviors similar to those performed by individuals that feel love for each other.

#9 Involve Your Customers

Make your advertisement personal and make your customer feel involved. Coca-Cola mastered this tactic with its Share a Coke campaign. They replaced their logo with the most common names. This way, people could share a coke with a person that matters most to them. They had over a thousand names on their bottles, leading to enormous shares on socials and more than 150 million sales.

Don’ts in Emotional Marketing

Don'ts in emotional marketing

Talks Less about Yourself More About Your Customers

People are drawn to other people more than they are to product features. This is why it’s imperative to create an authentic, emotional connection with your customers. Using images and videos of real people in your marketing campaigns is beneficial no matter what channels you use.

Additionally, sharing customer stories from devoted members of your brand community will not only be more trustworthy, but it’s way more cost-effective. Spending significant amounts of money on advertisements is an expensive customer acquisition strategy that ultimately does not build your brand community all on its own.

Focus on Your Customers, Don’t Ignore Them

This might strike you as a painfully obvious tip, but hear me out. With traditional brick-and-mortar stores, not “ignoring your customers” seems fairly straightforward and might be as simple as a “hello” from a sales associate when they walk in. Here are 30 motivational sales quotes for your team.

With the separation of a screen, you have to work even harder to ensure that your customers feel welcomed and appreciated. The first step in recognizing your customers is engaging with them wherever they choose to engage with you.

Whether your customers are interacting on social media, replying to your email campaigns, or attending brand community meet-ups, it’s your job to actively seek out these connections and begin building relationships. Learn about social media marketing in this article here.

Pick Influencers Carefully

Don’t pick random influencers for your campaign. Carefully choose who represents your brand. For example, don’t hire a blogger with surgically enhanced beauty and no sports background to promote sportswear for athletes. Your audience will be quick to point out the mismatch and walk away. Take a quick look at this article on influencer marketing to ace your marketing.

Top Examples of Emotional Marketing


Many brands want their customer to associate their brand names with smiling, laughing, and positivism. Based on this study, the New York Times’ most-shared articles were positive and had emotional appeal. When creating emotional ads, keep in mind that positive advertising can help you get more engagement and increase sharing.

For example, Coca-Cola’s “Choose Happiness” promotion in 2015 was a powerful example that encouraged consumers to share happy memories and experiences that made them feel happy that summer.

Gillette’s “Perfect Isn’t Pretty”

Gillette released a moving video that highlighted four Olympic athletes as the Rio Olympics approached in 2016. It showed that being perfect, which is loosely defined as Olympic-worthy athleticism, takes a lot of sacrifice and pain.

Though Gillette only sells razors, which are vaguely incorporated into the commercial, the brand created an emotional pull in its audience by aligning itself with the hard workers of the world.

While viewers may not be sure what kind of product features Gillette can offer, they do know what kind of mission the brand stands behind. And this will come in handy when buyers are ready to purchase new razors.

Airbnb’s “Let’s Keep Traveling Forward”

Airbnb took a stance against the US travel ban in 2018 by launching the “Let’s Keep Traveling Forward” campaign. In it, they reference a super controversial piece of legislation that banned a list of countries from traveling to the US due to their religion and/or role in certain American-centered international political scandals.

Understandably, many people around the world were appalled by this move, including the founders of Airbnb. They used this opportunity to incite anger in their audience and to provide a positive beacon to cling to.

Nike’s “Believe in Something”

Nike took a bold step in this emotional ad campaign by aligning with an athlete most known for kneeling during the national anthem in protest against police brutality against African American men in the US.

As a result, half the nation was outraged and burned their Nike products in protest. The other half was applauding the brand and investing in Nike products to support the brand. As for Nike, no matter which side you’re on, they were the talk of the nation that year.

Always #LikeAGirl Campaign

A company that sells feminine products flipped the age-old insult ‘like a girl’ on its head by launching an entire campaign that looked at all of the amazing things that girls and women are doing both in sports and in the world. The #The LikeAGirl campaign not only turned a lot of heads but also won a lot of hearts.

P&G “Thank You, Mom – Strong”

Another super emotional campaign released for the 2016 Rio Olympics was created by P&G, which highlighted the mother’s role in our lives. In this video, we watch Olympic athletes remember how their mothers encouraged them and comforted them as children, which helps them have the courage to compete in the Olympics.

P&G is a company that encompasses a wide range of products all meant for the home, so it’s a powerful move to do a little emotional branding on the home aspect of their company just as millions of people sit down to watch their commercials from home.

Google’s Search Story Campaign

Google’s Search Stories showcase a series of videos where individuals have used Google services to improve their lives or solve problems.

This particular video shows how a helicopter rescue team was able to save an entire family with the help of Google Maps.

AFL “I’d Like to See That” Campaign

The AFL released the “I’d Like To See That” campaign, touching on the women’s empowerment movement that has been taking place over the last century. In the video, they highlight all the different ways that women are excelling in sports, evoking pride and awe in its viewers.

Volkswagen Lemon Campaign

Volkswagen lemon campaign

Volkswagen’s Lemon ad featured a Beetle that had a small blemish on the chrome strip on the glove compartment and had to be replaced. Their minimalism in their marketing campaigns, coupled with their perfectionism, set Volkswagen apart from other carmakers.

Patagonia Speak for Climate Change

Patagonia speak for climate change campaign

While most of the world doesn’t seem to care much about the earth or its animals in the face of climate change, Patagonia was certain about one thing: we care at least about ourselves.

So when they post a picture of a child that is ‘facing extinction,’ it’s naturally going to cause some emotional reactions in those who view it. Even if the viewers aren’t compelled to tell Congress how they feel, they might remember this brand the next time they go shopping.

Procter & Gamble’s “The Talk” Campaign

When Procter & Gamble released “The Talk”, they were referencing something that is often swept under the rug in the United States, causing quite a stir in both blacks and whites alike.

It’s a powerful reminder of just how important open communication is in families as well as the protector role that mothers naturally hold. This commercial put on display a very harsh reality that black families face in the US, evoking a whole host of emotions, from anger to awe.

WWF Climate Change Campaign

WWF climate change campaign

The WWF doesn’t mess around when it comes to speaking about the negative effects of climate change. They’re known for creating emotionally charged images that either provoke anger, fear, or awe, all in hopes of compelling action in their target audience.

Heineken “Worlds Apart”

When it comes to emotional marketing, sometimes being bold or daring earns the best result, as demonstrated by beer brand Heineken. Today’s consumers care about brands that are transparent and show that they are willing to take on social issues.

Heineken’s ground-breaking “Open Your World” campaign conjures feelings that inspire action and hope, creating a deep connection with its audience. The campaign is based on a real-life experiment that pairs two people from opposite ends of the political spectrum, asking them to work on a series of practical tasks as a team.

After the experience, the two participants were asked to publicly share their thoughts, feelings and views with the beer brand, using Facebook as the primary vessel for the campaign. And the results are quite incredible.

This forward-thinking campaign shows that human understanding can overcome political differences, building a real sense of community in the process. “Open Your World” earned more than 3 million video views and 50,000 shares in its initial month.

Lysol “Protect Like A Mother” Campaign

Lysol's protect like a mother campaign

Rather than boasting all of the chemicals in their disinfectant sprays, Lysol pulls on the heartstrings of their customer base of mothers by promising that they “protect like a mother.”

This message empowers mothers and validates all that they do, which likely positions the brand as one that mothers can trust. It’s a smart yet simple move to build trust and loyalty in their customers.

Gatorade “The Boy Who Learned to Fly”

Gatorade utilizes storytelling to convey an emotional message that helps its audience bond with both the brand and the main character, Usain Bolt. As Usain Bolt becomes a household name around the world, so too does Gatorade for sponsoring him. It’s a smart move that all brands can learn from.

LinkedIn “In it Together” Campaign

LinkedIn In it together campaign

If you know your audience and what they need, inspiring an emotional response through your marketing will seem more natural and generate maximum impact. To shed itself of its one-track “white collar” brand image, LinkedIn created a powerful and highly emotive multi-channel campaign that attracts a bigger audience while demonstrating its commitment to change.

To earn plenty of engagement, the professional network developed a wide range of content, including television ads, YouTube video content, social media posts, and a valuable series of blog posts.

Aimed at four primary markets, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, the black-and-white, documentary-style campaign content explored the professional lives of incredible everyday people, showing them in action, doing what they do best.

The campaign’s impassioned content struck a real nerve with a wider target audience, transforming LinkedIn’s overall brand perception and propelling the network towards a new, more optimistic professional future.

John Lewis- Man on The Moon

John Lewis man on the moon campaign

The iconic UK department store John Lewis is loved for its emotionally-charged holiday marketing ads, and its “Man on the Moon” campaign is no exception. In fact, it’s one of the brand’s most successful efforts to date.

In this emotional marketing campaign, a strong nostalgic hook, a tear-jerking soundtrack, balanced colors, dreamy imagery, and strong storytelling combine to evoke feelings of sadness and empathy that evolve into feelings of festive warmth.

This wildly successful campaign earned John Lewis a 15.8% surge in sales during the 2015 holiday season and is still seen as one of the world’s best emotional marketing efforts from a retail brand. Also, if you are a retail store, you don't want to miss out on the blog- 7 landing page examples for your retail store.

To hit the emotional mark and fulfill your campaign goals, focusing on the story is essential. In doing so, you will engage your audience from start to finish, taking them on an emotional journey that is likely to build brand awareness and drive more sales.

How to Measure Emotional Marketing?

You can’t scale what you cannot measure, and it’s the same with your marketing efforts. If you don’t measure your work, you will not be able to improve on the work you are falling weak at or change a few things about your marketing. Hence, it is necessary to measure your marketing efforts.

Emotional marketing is measured like any other marketing effort, except for you’re measuring the emotional response itself. If you’re curious as to how your audience is responding to your advertisements, outside of a click-through, subscription, or purchase, you might need to do a little manual analysis.

To understand your crowd response, think about running reviews or giving space to input during your underlying effort. This open-finished, quantitative methodology will leave space for legitimate, constant crowd responses and give you thoughts on where you can improve. One more strategy for physically investigating crowd input is holding a center gathering.

One more method for estimating your crowd's enthusiastic reaction to your showcasing is to translate how their feelings manifest as activities. As I referred to before, joy commonly prompts sharing, bitterness prompts giving, dread prompts reliability, and outrage prompts virality. Speaking of virality, you might want to learn about viral marketing. It has some big perks for you as a company.

Contingent upon the feeling evoked through your showcasing, you may hope to see a knock-in movement encompassing (at least one than one) of these exercises.

For instance, assuming you upload a short special video that focuses on joy, happiness, and fervor, watch out for how your web-based media adherents react. Assuming that they're imparting the video to other people, it's probably doing its work putting a grin all over.

Then again, a dread-focused methodology may prompt more prominent email supporters or follow online media as your crowd sets up reliability with your image.

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Automate Your Marketing Efforts with Deskera Today

How Can Deskera Assist You?

Marketing is not a one-man’s job; you need a team in place to come up with good ideas and software that can help you execute it right. Talking of software, Deskera would make the best pick for you. Deskera CRM and Deskera CRM Plus just for you. Deskera CRM and CRM plus are tools you need to make that world of a difference from the way you process your sales, customers, and orders. The cherry on the top, Deskera, also has a set of some amazing landing page templates that will help you create yours. To learn more, take a look at this quick walkthrough.

Key Takeaways:

  • Emotional marketing is the deliberate use of persuasive messages that tap into human emotion to connect with the audience toward achieving the desired result.
  • Emotional marketing makes your content extremely easy for your audience to connect with.
  • Your marketing that is trying to evoke emotions, if successful, will definitely leave a mark.
  • Emotional marketing makes for a very powerful tool for eliciting a purchase or two.
  • It takes one action to evoke an emotion and have a long-lasting effect—the same as emotional marketing.
  • There is immense self-satisfaction in offering a great product and sending out a strong message to its customers.
  • Knowing your audience is important in emotional marketing so consider performing market research on what could elicit an emotional reaction in your advertisements.
  • Colors can create emotional responses in people. Leveraging different colors for distinct purposes can affect how people feel toward certain products or companies.
  • A narrative can be more memorable than a simple product description.
  • You can foster inspiration with advertising that highlights a character's accomplishments while convincing the consumer they could achieve the same.
  • Companies may consider how showcasing that people can achieve significant goals may help consumers aspire to set higher goals themselves.
  • Make your advertisement personal and make your customer feel involved.

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