What do you feel?
If as consumers we are so irrational, what better way to connect with us but through universal emotions? Emotions that captivate us and open our eyes and hearts. As marketers, however, the issue lies in determining what emotions we want to bring to our target's minds.
Naturally, our brand identity will have a say in what feelings we shall be prone to evoke, but we shouldn't forget that sometimes it's better to be surprising. Research shows the following elements tend to be the most effective: acceptance, success, fear, pain, hunger, desire, freedom, danger, laugh, cry and arousal.
A McDonald's ad could make us feel hunger and desire. But given the incipient generalised repudation of processed foods and junk food, desire becomes guilty. ¿What a better way of resolving the conflict of guilt but through acceptance?
But, how do we evoke these sensations? Experts point at the expresivity of human faces. However, we must be cautious around conflictive emotions. Sometimes, presenting some duality in our messages might be a successful way of completing them. Afterall, the world ain't free of contradiction. Nevertheless, some targets are more capable of processing this duality than others.
Thus, when our target is made of grown adults (especially those from Asian regions) opposing emotions, such has happiness combined with sadness, can be a success factor. This will give realism to our message and will evoke that feeling of acceptance of life that we already talked about.
On the other hand, when our target consists of yound adults, especially native English speakers, we will rather simplify our message emotion-wise. This way, we will avoid the rejection that might arise from cognitive dissonance.
Here are some ads where we can observe how emotions are utilised. I some cases, they reflect the brand's identity. We may see how brands gain strength through emotions.
On a side note, if you wanna catch Hispanics' eyes, personified animals showing the same emotions as people works pretty well.