The emotional drivers of advertising success – real answers, practical tools

Graham Page
Millward Brown, United Kingdom


Not surprisingly, the role of emotion in marketing arouses strong passions. However I can't help but agree with Ken Haess of the AAAA when he said in the Journal of Advertising Research in 2004, “(the contribution of emotional response to advertising is) much discussed and little progressed”. The discussion has intensified in recent years, and an increasing awareness by marketers of the theories and evidence from cognitive neuroscience has only added spice to the debate. This evidence, which gives emotion and feelings a much more prominent role in decision-making than has been previously thought, has rightly been seized upon by many marketers and agencies who instinctively believe that making their brands emotionally attractive is vital for success. It has also been used by many to criticise brand tracking and quantitative copy testing, the general gist being that 'old fashioned' quantitative measures weren't designed with this new perspective on emotion in mind, so can't possibly capture the emotional power of marketing, and so are misrepresenting the real effectiveness of advertising.