Brands that communicate passion for their work in ads may generate positive impacts with consumers as a result, according to a study published in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR).

The paper, entitled The effects of communicating passion in advertising: How messages like 'We Love What We Do!' shape people’s product and brand evaluations, was based on three studies, and tested ads for coffee, a soft drink and hand soap.

And the headline insight was that a brand that displays passion for its work in ads – say, with the phrase “We Love What We Do” – can yield tangible outcomes among consumers.

“Passion for what one does, it seems, not only creates great work. Communicating that passion through advertising also seems to have a positive impact on consumers,” the JAR analysis explained.

“When informed that the brand is passionate about what it does, consumers expect that the brand will work harder and devote greater effort to its products and that the products consequently will be of better quality.

“The positive emotion the brand signals by stating its passion also seems to spill over to the consumer and his or her brand attitudes and purchase intentions.”

A brand’s self-professed enthusiasm for what it does, the study suggested, may act as a form of “soft information” that impacts consumers in a broadly equivalent way to an ad’s creativity or perceived expense.

“Similar to these signals (of invested money and thinking), the communicated passion leads consumers to infer that it is in the brand’s own interest to do a really good job,” the study said.

It further highlighted the importance of exploring the link between “the brand’s passion and consumers’ passion” as a means of increasing “consumers’ emotional experiences (although not necessarily their love)”.

The main takeaway, however, was that “consumers are receptive to messages about the brand’s passion” in ads, working across two main dimensions.

One is a cognitive process, and can “focus on the brand’s work to raise expectations of its effort and the quality of the products”.

A second mode of transfer occurs “emotionally, through a focus on the brand’s feelings to increase the affective appeal and effects of the advertising”.

The paper’s authors were Micael Dahlen (Stockholm School of Economics), Helge Thorbjørnsen Norwegian School of Economics), Jonas Colliander and Sara Rosengren (Stockholm School of Economics), Alice Gemvik (AT Kearney) and Christian Thorwid (McKinsey & Company).

Sourced from Journal of Advertising Research; additional content by WARC staff

Sourced from Journal of Advertising Research; additional content by WARC staff