Emotional Advertising

When you hear the phrase ’emotional advertising,’ the first things that you probably think of are sad Sarah McLachlan songs and injured animals.  And while the ASPCA commercials do make me want to adopt animals, the fact of the matter is that I am in no position to do so and I often find myself changing the channel rather than subject myself to longing looks of the animals.

For this post though, that is not the type of emotional advertising I am talking about.  I want to discuss advertising that makes you feel warm & fuzzy and advertising that makes you go “wow.”  The two ads discussed below have some key similarities.  First, neither ad features any kind of dialogue–just music and imagery. Second, both ads are quite simple; they don’t have lots of action or feature big, fancy sets.  Lastly, the key element to both ads: they each create a personal connection between the ad/message/service and the viewer.

The first ad that I want to discuss is one that I’m sure many of you are familiar with.  Airing during the 3rd quarter of the Super Bowl 2 days ago, Google’s ‘Parisian Love’ ad (part of their Search Stories ad campaign) brings a smile to your face.  If you haven’t seen the ad, watch it:

This ad is successful because it takes something that most people do every day (a Google search) and attaches it not only to something tangible, but gives it very strong emotional ties as well.  The ad tells a story, which most ads these days either do not try or fail at doing.  The story is simple and memorable, but it invokes feelings and possibly even memories to establish a personal, relevant connection to the viewer.  It the kind of ad that gets people talking (it inspired me to write about it, didn’t it?).

The other ad that I want to share is a public service announcement from England.  The Sussex Safer Roads Partnership created this ad titled ‘Embrace Life’ to encourage drivers to wear their seatbelt.  I think that it is quite possibly one of the most effective, a best, ads that I have ever seen:

Like the Google commercial, this advertisement is effective because of the emotion that it invokes in the viewer.  It is almost impossible to watch this ad without putting yourself in that situation.  You can’t help but think, “What would I lose if this happened to me?”

As both ads show, creating a personal and emotional connection turned out to be a very successful strategy.  However, this is not to say that emotion is the magic ingredient for a successful ad.  Understanding what motivates your target market and understanding consumer behavior are both crucial in developing a successful ad campaign.

Let me know what you thought of these particular ads (or this type of advertising in general) in the comments section below!

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“Emotional Advertising” post on Adam’s Advertising Blog: http://wp.me/pNbki-12

2 Responses

  1. Hi Adam!! First of all those are GREAT ads; thanks for sharing! Second, I was moved by them both, though more impressed by the simplicity of the first. It is brilliant and easy to follow whether you are a highly sentimental person or not. However, a less emotional person or a child who cannot read has nothing else to grasp in that ad because of that very simplicity. The second ad, however, started a little slow and I think many people would turn the station before the message is clearly conveyed…the moment the “windshield” shatters, though, it starts to make sense. There is a lot of sensory input there: continuous and slow movements along with imaginative visual representation (through graphics) along with the music. It is clever and could be appreciated by aesthetic value as well as emotion. That offers more to a variety of ages, and appeals to the artistically sensitive as well as the emotionally sensitive.

    I find that I as a highly emotional person am surrounded by people who are less emotional and therefore wouldn’t necessarily be engaged or persuaded by an emotional ad. For that reason, I think the first ad is a little risky – but I love it!!

    I’m taking a quick study break and this provided a much needed aversion. Thanks!!

  2. […] a Toy Story themed Search Story ad.  I am a big fan of the Search Stories campaign (as noted in my Emotional Advertising post) and by combining the concept with Toy Story branding, I think that both Goole and Pixar hit a home […]

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