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Seven Steps To Emotional Advertising Success

When it comes to advertising, emotions really do matter. You only need to look at the emotional rollercoaster that is most shared ads on the Unruly Viral Video Chart to see how making someone cry, laugh or gasp can have a huge effect on your ad’s shareability.

But there is a lot more to emotional advertising than just sharing. Research over the last decade has come up with compelling evidence of how important emotions play in brand recall and purchase intent too, while early tests of our new Unruly Custom Audiences targeting capability has found that people who experience stronger emotions are more likely to watch till the end.

So ads that put your target audience through the emotional wringer are more likely to make them remember your brand and spend more. But how do you go about creating an emotional advertising campaign?

Here are our seven’s steps to success:



1. Understand your target audience

Identify the emotional triggers that motivate your customers. Do funny videos float their boat or are they enlightened by synapse-tingling Ted Talks? It’s really important to know what makes your  target audience tick.


2. Be true to your brand

Brands are like people, some are serious, some playful, some downright shocking! Choose emotional triggers that are relevant and authentic to your brand. There are multiple emotional responses ranging from happiness and exhilaration to nostalgia and sadness. Focus on the one to three emotional triggers that feel most fitting for your brand.

3. Create highly emotional content

Once you’ve got an authentic emotional palette for your brand, aim to create content that triggers intense emotions. Content that elicits a physiological response is the key to success – laughter, tears or goosebumps are all clear indicators of an intense emotional reaction.

4. Ensure that your brand is integral to the video

Using poorly branded advertising is like throwing your marketing budget down the drain. Emotional campaigns are effective at driving brand metrics from attention through to purchase intent – but only if the viewer knows which brand is behind the ad.

5. Use emotional targeting across paid media campaigns

Creating emotional content is only half the battle. You can maximize its effect by investing in paid media to reach  the audience most likely to feel a strong response. Unruly has found that 42% of online shares happen within the first three days of launching your video, so you’ll need to target these consumers quickly not to miss the boat!

6. Configure your video player to encourage sharing

Include the sharing buttons most likely to drive action with your target audience and place social annotations over the content at the most emotional moments with a relevant call to action for the viewer to share the content.

7. Configure your video player to drive user action

We recommend you use one of the 30+ apps available in the Unruly player to drive viewers further along the purchase journey. There’s a wealth of features including Buy It Now, Store Locator, Feature Gallery and Coupon Downloads that launch directly from the video player and help drive value beyond the view.