How to Influence your Customers with Emotional Marketing

A lump in your throat, the belly hurting laugh, or maybe just the feeling like you’re the only person on Earth.

These are a few examples of emotions, the reaction one has towards an object, individual, or surrounding that drives our subsequent behavior. This is the foundation for building an emotional marketing strategy.

For all its complexity, marketing campaigns have one primary goal — to drive a positive reaction. How does one do that? We all know that a call to action, targeted marketing, and logical explanations all have their limitations.

In such a busy marketing world, how do you make your company stand out?

Here’s a tip, tap into your consumer’s attention span and emotions to influence their purchasing decision.

So, what is emotional marketing? It’s a form of marketing communication in which advertisers leverage emotions to influence the purchasing behavior of their audience.

Simple emotions such as anger, happiness, or compassion provide more meaning and depth to the experience of a brand or product. It creates an emotional bond between the customer and the company, which nurtures a long-term commitment.

Using emotional cues to elicit a response or reaction from the audience is the essence of emotional marketing.

These emotional cues are present in our everyday life, they’re usually environmental triggers that bring joy, sadness, excitement, and other feelings to the user’s mind.

Even an absurd deal might seem totally acceptable because it invokes a feeling that balances the scales.

Most people think the choices they make are rational and well thought. But, in reality, our user’s emotions drive and cruise through our decisions and consumer choices.

We’ll elaborate in detail, here are a few examples of sensational emotional marketing campaigns that were designed and implemented by brands over the years. Read further:

Always – #LikeAGirl


Who would want to be associated with periods? Always with its ‘Like a girl’ campaign proved that you can make a feminine hygiene brand more popular.

Sanitary pads are a low-involvement category. Women don’t want to spend even a fraction of a second thinking about it, as periods are already enough of a pain.

Playing around the fact that gender stereotypes are so ingrained in our culture they have now morphed into part of the language.

The expression ‘Like a girl’ is often construed as an insult to tease somebody who is perceived as physically weak or having higher emotional intelligence.

Always flipped the age-old narrative, ‘Like a girl’ on its head by launching an entire campaign that looked at all of the sensational feats that girls and women are achieving both in sports and the world at large. The #LikeAGirl campaign highlighted a social stigma that turned a lot of heads but also captured a lot of hearts.

This 2014 campaign by Always won an Emmy, a Cannes Grand Prix award, and also the Grand Clio award — a recognition practically unprecedented within the advertising world.


Here’s another extraordinary example of a successful campaign that triggered the right emotional response.


WWF commercials use beautiful images of our planet frequently to increase donations by evoking positive emotions. Have a look at the image above, it’s an amazing example of a campaign against deforestation.

Reduced oxygen levels are a direct outcome of deforestation, which is a human health hazard. The creative personifies a forest, the planet’s lungs, so viewers connect to it on a personal level and evoke emotional responses by linking the Earth’s lungs to that of our own.

The lung on the right looks deformed and damaged by deforestation. The campaign created an emotional response by making the advertisement personal. Brilliant, isn’t it?

If you look closely at the bottom, you will also find a solid copy that reads, ‘Before it’s too late’, but the emotion accentuated by the creative is more than enough to leave the audience with that message.

Gillette – Perfect Isn’t Pretty


Gillette released a moving video that highlighted four Olympic athletes, PSG forward Neymar Jr. alongside then reigning Decathlon Olympic champion Ashton Eaton, Asian 100-meter freestyle record holder Ning Zetao, and Great Britain cyclist Andy Tenant as the Rio Olympics approached in 2016.

The aim was to show that the endeavor towards precision is long, and often overlooked in favor of the end result. 

The campaign looks at the arduous training which the athletes have to undertake in their pursuit to achieve greatness for their country in the Olympics.

As the campaign unfolds, Gillette focuses on the challenges and hardships that athletes face during their intensive training in preparation for the Olympic Games while staying on top of their game.

The brand created an emotional attraction with its audience by aligning itself with the hard workers of the world. While viewers may not be sure what kind of product features Gillette offers, this campaign instilled the brand stance.

‘The Best a Man Can Get’ is achieved through sheer resilience and hard work.

Here’s how to design an Emotional Marketing Campaign in three steps: 

A. Map your customer’s emotional journey:

When you’re designing a marketing campaign, your first step should be to work out what your customer is probably feeling while making the purchase.

Understand the problem you’re solving and the user’s desire to seek you out. How would they feel? What feelings do you hope to form or alleviate along with your product or service? Take a deep breath, form a listing and mind map of all these emotions while empathizing with your users.

B. Identify the emotional touchpoints of your campaign:

Remember, simplicity is key. So, choose one main emotion, or two, if you’re telling a story, and build a narrative around these feelings.

The emotion you are tapping into will be the center stage of your Grand Opera while the other emotions will act as the backup singers for perfect harmony.

For example, if you’re a life coach, you could plan out a campaign that acknowledges the anxieties of your prospective clients and emphasize how your services will help them feel more serene.

C. Create a mood board:

Even if you’re not the one designing the campaign, a mood board will help whoever is designing it to hit the perfect notes. Mood boards are collages of images, colors, textures, and sometimes words that help you visualize a mood you’re trying to portray.

A mood board is used very frequently in graphic design and marketing fields, where creating an emotional landscape is crucial for marketing success. They also assist you in drafting visuals, stringing together ideas, and believing what images or materials you would like to make your campaign.

Read on: How to tell a compelling brand story

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