What was the last great ad you remember? We’re willing to bet it evoked some sort of emotional response. It makes sense, emotions have been proven on many occasions to improve both memory and, to a greater extent, attention. And what’s a bigger win for advertisers than achieving those? Getting an emotional response out of your audience requires compelling storytelling derived from tactful creative ideas. Grab some tissues and settle in — we’ve compiled 6 poignant ads exemplifying the 6 big emotions used in successful campaigns.

1. Delight 

While all emotions will help your advertising efforts, positive emotions were found to be more popular in shared content. Further, reinforcing an association between your brand and positive feelings will certainly have beneficial outcomes for your image. Considering that 77% of B2B marketing leaders identified branding as critical to growth, it makes sense that brands strive to create an association with delight.

In the Coca-Cola ad below, delight is illustrated through countering the impersonal hatred that too frequently, and easily, is communicated in the digital world. The positive experience of viewing this story, leaves viewers seeking an uncomplicated pleasure afforded by a soda. 

2. Inclusion 

It may have taken a while, but advertising has finally realized the importance of inclusivity. In one survey, 41% agreed that it’s important to showcase modern day society in marketing imagery. Employing inclusion allows your ad to connect with specific audience segments while demonstrating your brand’s values. And, most importantly, it’s the right thing to do in a world where too many groups are underrepresented.  

The LGBTQ community may be increasingly represented in American media. But in India, homosexuality wasn’t even decriminalized until 2018. For Valentine’s Day of 2019, only 5 months later, Netflix released a Valentine’s Day campaign which told a love story between 2 men. Through asserting their position and celebrating love, Netflix was met with universal applause and admiration. They represented a whole group of people who were marginalized in their country without even making the story about just that. 

3. Urgency

Urgency is an emotional upshot of human loss aversion. Or what millennials more commonly know as FOMO. When scarcity presents itself, our human instinct to stay connected with what others are doing kicks in big time. We’re not only concerned with what our peers are doing though. FOMO can also drive us to make impulsive decisions out of worry that an offer will pass us by and consequently we’ll live to regret that.  

TheRealReal frequently administers this tactic to encourage purchases. The example below only represents one of many products which display the time-sensitive nature of the purchase. 

4. Fear

Any type of fear will inevitably tap into our survival instincts. It’s also worth keeping in mind that a fundamental driver of fear is surprise. Most unexpected stimulus will be met with a surprise-to-startle reaction. So remember, you don’t necessarily have to be spooky. Conversely, disturbing your audience too much can actually have negative consequences. 

Take Nationwide’s Superbowl ad, for instance. In this commercial, a child explains the things he won’t be able to do in life with an end reveal that he had died from an accident. Reactions to the grim ad ranged from upset to outrage. Even celebrities like Patton Oswalt and Judd Apatow took to Twitter to express their discontent. The following year, Nationwide passed on airing a Super Bowl ad, despite being one of the major NFL advertisers.

The WWF ad below targets consumer fear for a good cause without repelling them too much. Keep in mind that fear tactics are more justifiable when it comes to humanitarian causes, as in the instance. 

5. Comfort 

A warm bowl of soup when you’re sick or perhaps a glass of wine after a hard day — everyone has their own creature comforts. When reminiscing on yours, you’re likely hit with a wave of relaxing sentiments. And who doesn’t want that warm, cozy feeling from the products or services they spend on? 

Postmates’ “we get it” campaign is not only funny, it works by offering a certain type of comfort. By acknowledging and poking fun at the all-too-common excuses for indulging that we tell ourselves, Postmates normalizes the behavior. In turn, this allieves the audience of guilt as they don’t feel alone in giving themselves a pass. 

6. Empathy 

https://weekly-ads.us – PetSmart

When thinking about empathy as a strategy in ads, many of us will recall the series of devastating ads from ASPCA and the pain we felt for those animals. The fact that most readers can easily remember these ads attests to the power of empathy. However, it doesn’t always have to be that distressing. Instead, advertisers can just tell a story which the audience can empathize with the main subject. 

On the flip-side of the ASPCA approach, you can stir empathy in your audience by showing something pleasant. Even though this ad still involves adorable animals, PetSmart entices empathy by appealing to the prospect of adopting a new best friend. 

Ultimately, outstanding storytelling relies on the capacity to relate to others. Emotions are universal. That’s why they’re the best tactic for not only grabbing attention but sustaining it in a meaningful way. Incorporating this attribute into your ads ensures a good chance of establishing a brand image as well as staying at the forefront of your audience’s minds.

Let’s give your audience all the feels — reach out today, we can help!