Emotions in advertising

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Advertisement is defined in the Colin dictionary as “any public announcement designed to sell goods or publicize an event”, it is nowadays impossible to escape advertisement as it is everywhere. Sometimes enjoyable when the spot is funny or impressive, or boring when it interrupted your film; but keep in mind that its first aim is always to manipulate. Advertisements tried toinform, remind and persuade consumers to convince them to rely them and their product to create a purchase intention.


To reach their goal they can use a large range of marketing tools like scientific demonstration with experts to proof the efficiency of the product, celebrities endorser or animated character and also play with the emotional appeals andelements to create some common values between the brand and you.

The first step of this marketing communication is to catch your interest which could be tired by the quantity of advertising it has to face with daily.
To reach this goal, they have to be original and attention getting to surprise you, make you smile, and even maybe chock you.

That is the reason why marketing communications arerelying on your emotions. In fact “Emotions are responsible for consumer decision marking” O’Shaughnessy and O’Shaughnessy. This is what we are going to develop and evaluate here through an analysis of different theories, models and examples.

Emotions and advertisement – definition, concept, personal development

Usually, people tend to consider their own behaviour as rational. Therefore, factsare different in the real life; emotions are often stronger than reflexion.
That is why marketing communications campaigns are always focusing on knowledge improvement regarding how emotions can affect consumers’ reaction to advertisements and their decision-making for brands.

Advertising is a “life experience” like another; the only difference is that we pay less attention to it than we dofor things we considered as more important.
Think is a luxury while react is a necessity.

The human brain reacts before thinking. This is the type of behaviour that marketing communications campaigns are looking for when consumers are face to a brand: recollection of a particular emotion, feeling.

If we consider that everyone in the world always try to avoid negative emotions for positiveones, the feeling of pleasure obviously take an important part in the decision making process. Therefore, we also have to assume that self-involvement is really important in decision-making.

We called this the “cocktail party effect” which is define in the dictionary as “the difficulty of focusing one's attention on a single auditory source within a jumble of noises; the process of selectivelistening” dictionary.com, online dictionary.
As an example, when you are entering a room where several discussions are taking place on the mean time, when you heard you own name coming from the discussion of a small group of people, you are (of course) focusing on this group and ignore the rest of the room; this is the cocktail party effect.

Furthermore, even today everyone is able to rememberwhat he was doing when England and the whole world loose their Lady Diana in 1997 or on September 11 terrorist attack.
Same for some pieces of useless information learnt at school ages ago; we still remember them because rehearsal etched them is our memory…

We are involved in those moments which are important for us. On the opposite side, our brain can interpret advertisements as useless whenthey do not catch that much his attention. That is why, marketing communications campaigns has to play with customers’ emotions and make them feel involved to be memorable.

But are our emotions really manipulated?

First of all, it could be useful to clarify what kind of emotions are we speaking about. What is relevant here, is the conscious level, more precisely, the explicit memory.