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The Best Emotional Appeals to Use in Advertising
When crafting the best messaging for your advertising strategy, it takes so much more than simply putting words together that sound good. It’s about creating emotion, and those emotions can and should vary depending upon what you’re trying to sell to people. You’d be cutting yourself short if you think the only emotions that “sells” is happiness or excitement. Sure, people like to feel these two emotions, but there are many others that can be far more effective at selling your product or service, depending upon what you’re trying to accomplish. Take a look as we explore the best emotional appeals to use in advertising, broken down by what it is you’re trying to sell.
If you’re selling comfort or security
For products or services that aim to add comfort or security to someone’s lives, your advertisements should play off the emotions of relaxation, peace of mind, safety, fear, and discomfort. Yes, even negative emotions can be effective for selling a product or service because you can position your business as the solution.
If you’re selling organization, business growth, or productivity
If your products or services aim to provide individuals or businesses with tools for organization, growth, and productivity, your advertisements would be most effective to focus on making people feel accomplished, focused, successful, proactive, and intelligent when they buy what you’re selling.
If you’re selling luxury or romance
Selling luxury and romance is a huge market share especially when it comes to the advertisements you see on TV, billboards, and the internet. The most common are selling jewelry, vacations, luxury clothing, spas, and upscale dining. Obviously, the emotion to appeal to here is love, desire, and pleasure. However, you can also play on the emotions of boredom or loneliness because you can position your products or services as the solution to overcoming these negative emotions.
If you’re selling basic essentials and home/personal necessities
When you’re selling essential items like household products, toiletries, and the like, you may think an emotional appeal isn’t really needed. They’re essential after all, people will buy them no matter what, right? To stand out among your competition, you would do well to incorporate emotion into your advertising and in this case, you’d do best to have your product or service make buyers feel smart, sensible, responsible, and both family-focused and financially savvy.
If you’re selling education or personal development
In order to effectively reach people looking to further their education or invest in personal development, your advertisements of your products or services should aim to make them feel inspired, encouraged, capable, and energized. Simply put, you want your customers to feel like they can accomplish their goals if they partner with you.
If you’re selling health or wellness
Advertising health and wellness products and services can take one of two directions when it comes to emotional appeal. First, you can stay positive (often the best route) and play on the emotions of security, safety, comfort, and to a degree even pride. On the flip side of the coin, you can more boldly play on the emotions of fear, insecurity, uncertainty, discomfort, and dissatisfaction. Why? Well, when you bring to light these emotions that your potential customers may be feeling, and place your business as a solution, they may be driven to buy based on the desire to overcome these negative emotions.
If you’re selling food or drink
Food and drink are most often positioned as comfort, luxury, relaxation, and entertainment. Bars and restaurants need to convince people why they shouldn’t “settle” for eating at home tonight, and why they should instead come out to their place of business. Advertisements that use the emotional appeal of indulgence, convenience, and fun are best positioned to draw in customers who want that more than a home-cooked meal.
If you’re selling a tool, technology, or service
This category can be tricky when it comes to emotional appeal because what you’re selling is pretty straightforward. Okay, it’s a tool, technology, or service that is pretty obviously designed to accomplish what it says it will. Whether it’s something for the home, a business, or an individual person, the core emotions you should focus on here are convenience, comfort, and security. Such products and services are most often designed to make someone’s life easier, to make things run efficiently, and to protect the buyer from problems and pitfalls.
If you’re selling YOU
And finally, there is the unique scenario when what you’re trying to sell is really yourself. The most common example would be a political ad campaign. It’s the candidate you see on the billboard or in the television commercial. So, what emotional appeals should you focus on when the “product” you’re trying to sell is, well, you? You want people to feel connected and interested. You should want them to view you as relatable, friendly, trustworthy, and most importantly, someone they’d want to hang out with. Focus on being “human.” Yes, this sounds easy and obvious, but you’ll find it’s really not unless you really focus on it. What personal experiences can you share, or stories can you tell? What you say and how you appear will impact how relatable and likable you come across in an advertisement.
While we couldn’t cover absolutely every category for which someone may wish to place an advertisement, hopefully you can identify a few areas that overlap with your products or services. As you map out your advertising strategy for the next quarter, consider how you might incorporate some of the aforementioned emotions into your design and messaging!