How to Use Emotional Marketing to Boost Your Brand and Win New Customers


All businesses should invest in marketing. From online ads to radio slots, marketing helps to spread the word about your product or service. When done well, it builds your brand and broadens your reach.

Conducting a continual re-evaluation of your marketing strategy is important. Trends come and go and customers change. What works one month might bomb the next. Businesses that fail to evolve die.

Marketing is no different. In a couple of decades, the field has shifted from offline ads to online ads and it’s now a lot harder to make an impression in an overcrowded crowded marketplace. This is where the benefits of appealing to your target customer’s emotions can pay dividends.

What is emotional marketing?

There are some adverts that really resonate and speak to our emotions. The Real Beauty campaign from Dove was a bonafide tear-jerker. Its message was: “you are more beautiful than you think”. You can watch it here if you missed it the first time around.

As part of the Dove campaign, a police sketch artist drew two portraits of various women: one based on how they described themselves and the other based on how a stranger described them. All of the women focussed on aspects of their appearance they didn’t like whereas the stranger saw them as a whole.

The results were very telling. Many of the women were moved to tears when they realised how much they put themselves down.

This is a great example of emotional marketing.

The Always brand’s “Like a Girl” campaign is another. It encouraged girls to break stereotypes, be themselves, and follow their passions. This campaign won many awards, as well as a lot of media attention.

How does this help you and your brand?

The online and offline world is awash with advertising in many forms. Every time we click on a website or turn on the TV, we are bombarded with ads; some subtle, others less so. It’s really hard for brands to stand out.

Emotional advertising is very effective in this regard. It taps into a consumer’s emotions, which holds their attention and influences their purchase decisions. And let’s not forget, modern consumers have a very short attention span!

If you can tap into a consumer’s emotions, they are more likely to buy your product/service. Emotions have a greater influence on us than cold, hard logic. This is why we buy chocolate when we are feeling sad – even though we know it’s bad for us.

How to use emotional marketing

Think about how you want your product/service to make a consumer feel. Research has shown that inciting different emotional reactions can lead to different outcomes.

  • Happiness encourages people to share content with their friends and family.
  • Fear causes people to see your brand as a shining beacon of light in a mad, bad world.
  • Sadness leads to empathy and altruism
  • Anger can generate viral content, which is why provocative tweets are far more likely to go viral

By tapping into these emotional responses, you can generate much better results from your advertising campaigns.

Colour theory

Use colour to trigger an emotional response. Red is associated with love, passion, and excitement whereas green is linked to health and nature and black with corporate branding.


Telling a story is another way to connect with your audience. You can reach your target audience by chronicling a story they can relate to. Remember the Gold Blend adverts? The Gold Blend couple fell in love over the course of the ad series, and Nescafe sold a lot of coffee in the process.

Inspire your audience

Red Bull gave us wings and helped their audience believe in the impossible. Arguably, Lynx did the same for a lot of nerdy men.

Start a movement

The ‘Like a Girl’ ads fall into this category, by inspiring a generation of women and girls to break gender stereotypes. The Aussie Metro Trains “Dumb Ways to Die” campaign was another huge hit, thanks to a healthy dose of black humour. It helped spread the message to young people that playing around trains was not a smart thing to do.

Sell an impossible dream

Ads that show us a glimpse of how amazing life could be if we buy into their product are selling us a dream. Old Spice did very well on the back of this, by using humour to imply that a male partner could transform into a hot and sexy beefcake, simply by using Old Spice products.

Know your target audience

For emotional marketing to work, you have to nail your target audience. Think about who your customer is and what will resonate best with them. If your customer’s emotions are perfectly aligned with your ad message, you are on the right track.

Naturally, as we are sure you are aware, content marketing is a critical part of any advertising campaign. Without great content, your marketing campaign will suffer.

Contact us today if you need help penning content that hits the right mark – our Ink Elves are experts in the art of emotional prose!