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Emotion and Timing in Advertising

July 26, 2011

Advertising; a key element in brand marketing in which the ultimate goal is to influence a target audience to purchase a product, use a service, visit a location, and much more. Effective advertising, marked with a superbly developed brand message, utilizing the right medium, and targeting the correct audience, can work so subliminally and so perfectly to manipulate the thoughts, even desires, of the consumer. Done right, it’s magic!


Emotional Responses to Advertising

As you read this, take a moment to sit back and remember the last powerful ad that you saw, or heard. What was it? Auto makers are wonderful at hitting an individual’s emotions. For example, in our rough economic atmosphere, with the downfall of Detroit, those Chrysler “Imported from Detroit” commercials do a wonderful job at getting to the heart of the matter. Like this 2010 Super Bowl commercial that got a lot of attention not only for its celebrity star and music, but for its emotional aspect during a time when Detroit was failing.


Chrysler Commercial 1
Lines like, “Show where you are going without forgetting where you are from,” and “humble beginnings are true beginnings…character building beginnings…the most powerful thing about humble beginnings is that they are humbling.” The script, music, images, and overall tone of these new Chrysler commercials speaks to the heart of everyone, especially they’re target audience.


When a brand advertisement can elicit emotions from an audience, it’s is worth its weight in gold. Emotion drives decisions, drives thought processes, effects the products we buy and the services we engage in. And, in many cases, emotion can lead to brand equity, which can literally mean that no matter what the cost of a product or service, consumers will buy into it because of their emotional attachment.


Emotion and Timing

One of the reasons that coupons sites such as Groupon and Deal Chicken are so effective is because they combine two important factors of effective advertising; emotional response paired with limited time offers. This kind of advertising is insanely effective because when the consumer’s emotions are touched, their thought process tends to become limited, and their decision making skills become restricted. Any decision they make is made in the ‘heat of the moment.’


There are two main motivations for consumers; intrinsic and extrinsic. A consumer who is motivated intrinsically is represented by self-acceptance, affiliation, and community feeling. “Extrinsically-motivated people, on the other hand, focus on financial gain, their appearance, and social popularity.” However, many times these lines become blurred. An effective advertising firm can elicit an emotional response and influence a purchase decision from both types of individuals, converting intrinsic consumers to extrinsic consumers of just for a second, causing them to make emotional decisions.


When building your brand and conferring with your advertising team regarding which medium you will use, who your audience is, and how you will target them, keep this article in mind. Emotion and timing have a profound effect on the purchasing power and decisions that consumers make.