Emotional appeal has been recognized as an effective marketing strategy that resonates with customers on a personal level. As social beings, we all crave connection and meaning, which is why emotional advertising has the potential to create a long-lasting impact on viewers. By tapping into consumers’ emotions, advertisers can build brand loyalty and increase the memorability of their message.
One of the key elements of an emotional ad is to establish a strong link between the product and the consumer. This means creating a narrative that is relatable and resonates with the target audience. For instance, the 2022 Vicks Vapor Rub launched across India ad featuring a transwoman who owns an orphanage, effectively captures the essence of the mother-child relationship. Although the product placement is not explicitly shown until the very end, the ad creates a lasting impression by invoking the familiar feel and scent of Vicks, thereby linking the product to the emotions of the audience.
The Google #HeyMom advertisement which gained widespread attention in 2020, depicts children calling out “Hey, Mom!” for even the smallest of tasks, such as running out of toilet paper, getting a bruise on their arm, or asking them curious questions like where dirt comes from. The ad culminates in an exhausted mother saying “Hey, Google! Call Mom,” emphasizing the never-ending nature of motherhood. Again, the product placement is towards the end of the ad yet making a strong connection between the product showcased & the viewer.
Furthermore, emotional ads tend to have a higher recall value, meaning that viewers are more likely to remember the message conveyed in the ad. This is because emotional ads engage both the cognitive and affective components of the brain, creating a deeper level of processing and encoding of the information presented. Consequently, emotional ads are more likely to be shared and discussed among viewers, leading to greater brand awareness and exposure.
A study published by Prof. Nicole Pereira suggests creating a link in consumers mind between the memories left by advertising the product and the brand. When marketing a product, the key is to focus the attention on the brand which is critical in maintaining a lasting impression in the mind of the consumer and it will have the potential to affect the behaviour of the consumer. If a strong link hasn’t been created, the investment in marketing and content development will be wasted.
We selected 4 different ads that tugged on emotional play and evaluated them on Incivus, an AI-powered Creative Effectiveness Tool for marketers that helps to identify the most effective ad before it goes live. One of the creative variables that the tool focuses on is emotions, i.e., emotions evoked by the Ad copy, Music and the Human characters in the ad.
1. Babyshop’s emotional tug:
The ad shows a mother’s worries while raising her child during the pandemic. The visuals, which have a contrast of hard facts and the happy faces of children who learn to make friends and have fun against all odds, paired with the formal yet emotional ad copy evoke the feeling of happiness and gratitude in the viewer. The rock music used in the ad evokes a calm, chilled and yet romantic mood in the viewer, reiterating the feeling of happiness it evokes by the ad copy and visuals. The characters emote a contrast of neutral and happy emotions in the ad, bringing a smile to the viewer’s face. Most baby product ads evoke the emotion of happiness or love in the viewer to associate a positive brand image with the product, which will induce purchases.
2. Mondello Park’s humor play:
In contrast to the worrisome emotions portrayed in the Babyshop ad, Mondello Park plays the humor card. A thrilling adventure of a mother’s spirit is displayed when her son asks his aged mother to be his passenger, she takes charge, and kicks the gas pedal, showcasing the humorous side of motherhood.
The contrasting emotions depicted by both the characters evokes laughter and gives an adrenaline rush to the viewers which is in line with the brand positioning for Mondello Park. The close-up shots of both characters keep the viewer engaged to the very end. The funk soul music initially plays a somber tune, making the beginning of the ad deceptive in nature, it drastically shifts into an almost hard rock tune evoking an energetic mood in the viewer. It generates a shock value in the viewer and therefore, portrays a happy mood.
The ad copy suggests giving your mother an adventure she will always remember, making the ad witty, funny & surprising. The ad stands out amongst the somber emotions of other Mother’s Day ads.
3. Body Shop’s Royal Play:
A funny & comical parody of the Royal Family to represent Body Shop’s British Rose range was an ingenious idea. A Prince Charles look-alike plans to give a Queen Elizabeth look-alike a bouquet of British Roses from their garden. However, Queen Elizabeth’s dogs go on to destroy the roses, leaving Prince Charles to pick out the British Rose range for a Mother’s Day present.
The vlog-style shot video with ambient sounds from the garden makes the case for a very authentic video. The visuals are however very shaky, making it difficult to engage the viewer the first time they watch the ad.
The emotions displayed by the characters range from anger to irritation and happiness. But as the story unfolds it becomes clear that the emotion boils down to love. The ad copy towards the end of the ad is positive and adds to the storyline indicating how a perfect gift can be found at the Body Shop store. There is no music other than the natural garden sounds, which is in line with the vlog style video and also helps the viewer to focus more on the human characters and their dialogues.
4. Sickkids #MomStrong:
The SickKids VS MomStrong ad is a moving and powerful advertisement that showcases the incredible strength and resilience of mothers of children with serious illnesses. The dark music paired with dark visuals further adds to the emotion of distress as depicted by the characters in the ads., The music gradually changes to a somber tune of the piano to match the change in emotion depicted by the characters when they visit their children. The music is paired with bright visuals evoking the emotion of hope and empathy in the viewers.
The ad copy tone is positive, encouraging viewers to support Mothers of SickKids which is in line with the positioning of the brand SickKids.
So, which emotion makes for a consumer purchase?
The findings of a paper written by Aysha Anwer, Muhmmad Farooq, Shahid Minhas & Hamza Rehman Butt demonstrate that pleasant emotions such as love, laughter, and happiness have a positive influence on customer purchasing intentions.
The four ads that we evaluated here, have common emotions such as happiness, love & sadness which create a positive impact consumer purchase decision.
To find out whether your Mother’s Day ads have these emotions, test your ads on Incivus. Reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.