Warc Briefing: Using Emotion

Definition: Emotion-based communications aim to stimulate joy, contentment, surprise, fear and other feelings in order to encourage consumer decision-making and brand preference.

Quick facts

  • For established brands emotional campaigns have been found to outperform those based on rational messagesi.
  • Coca-Cola has a five stage model for encouraging Brand Love among consumers- from knowledge and acceptance to liking, love and exclusive loveii.
  • SuperBowl spots with highly emotional content create more online buzziii

History and future outlook

Business has not fully embraced emotion as a lead indicator of consumer behaviour and communications effectiveness. Yet much has been written on this subject, and more is likely to follow.

The commercial mainstream's resistance may be due to the fact that emotion can be difficult to measure and emotional impulses are sometimes seen as the antithesis of the rational decision-making models which have dominated planning and evaluation of campaigns.