5 Reasons Why Using Emotion in Commercials Sells
May 15, 2017

5 Reasons Why Using Emotion in Commercials Sells

Let’s be clear: when deciding what your commercial should be about in pre-production, you’ll want to show off your product’s best features. But there’s something else you need to focus on: the emotions you’re trying to evoke. Why does emotion matter so much if the demonstrations of your product features are spot on? Read on for our five reasons why using emotion in commercials sells.

  1. Emotion establishes a deep connection with viewers.

When consumers buy a product after seeing your commercial, they’re looking at more than the product itself. They’re looking at what your product can add to their lives. This goes beyond the logical benefits you present to them in the commercial. Why are consumers seeking out logic-based benefits? To receive some underlying emotional payoff.

Whether that’s simplifying life, reducing stress, or feeling more connected to those around them, consumer purchase is driven by emotion. To most effectively sell your product through your commercial, you have to add some deeper emotional value to your product. How does your company’s product change consumer’s lives? That emotionality should be a driving force in your next pre-production meeting. Make that connection, and consumers will flock to you.

  1. Cognitive dissonance is powerful.

For those of you that can’t remember your Psych 101 days, cognitive dissonance occurs when people’s actions and beliefs don’t match up. This dissonance makes consumers feel uneasy and off-balance, and they seek out ways to get rid of the dissonance as quickly as possible. Advertisers can create this dissonance and then present their product as the solution to the very dissonance they’ve created.

Think of those commercials that present you with sad, abused animals. These companies create dissonance by presenting you with the idea that animal abuse is wrong. This is a belief most people will get behind. They then implicitly point out that by not doing anything to end the abuse and help these animals, you’re essentially part of the problem. This makes people very uncomfortable, because no one wants to believe that they allow animal abuse to happen. How can consumers get rid of this discomfort? By donating and giving to these companies to end the abuse!

With one commercial, the company has created a problem, made consumers aware of their problem, and then given them an out to solve it. Once people donate, they feel better about themselves and the dissonance disappears. The solution just happens to be the company’s product.

  1. Using the right emotion can have vastly different effects on consumers.

The above example used the emotion of guilt to get consumers to act. That sense of guilt created unease that consumers could then use the product to get rid of. However, depending on what you want consumers to do, the emotion you evoke with your commercial should vary.

Happiness makes us more inclined to share and connect. Psychologically, our happiness increases when we share it with others. Coke commercials play on happiness and connectedness almost exclusively. Coke wants you to not only associate its product with joy, but it wants you to share that joy (aka a bottle of Coke) with others. Sadness makes us more empathetic and anger makes us curious and stubborn. Knowing how your consumers will react to certain emotions tells you which emotions you should gear your commercial towards in your production process.

  1. Emotion gives you the chance to show your company’s vision.

Using emotion in your brand’s commercial gives you a golden opportunity to show off your company culture. It’s a chance to go beyond the product itself and show the true passion behind the company. What does your company want for the world and the consumers who buy your product? Use these ideologies and combine them with the appropriate emotion to elicit true emotion from your customers. Showing them who you are as a brand makes your company seem more trustworthy. Trustworthiness and the ability to connect to consumers are some of the most important factors customers rely on when choosing a product or brand.

  1. Third-person emotional experiences affect our brains as first-person events do.

Humans’ unique ability to empathize is what sets us apart from a lot of the animal kingdom. In one study, participants were asked to watch a video of a boy with cancer. The participants’ brains produced the stress hormone cortisol, the same way it would be produced if the participants had cancer themselves. This was also due to the release of oxytocin, which promotes connectedness and empathy. This connectedness enables us to see others’ emotions and internalize them as if we were experiencing them. This is why using emotion to promote products is so useful.

By strongly depicting emotions on-screen in your commercial, you can elicit those same emotions in your consumers. This gives you pretty strong control over how consumers will react to your commercial if done properly. Your brand can use empathy to connect to your consumers and introduce them to the world of your product in a way that will keep them coming back.

Would you like to learn more about using emotion in video, or about any other video topic? Reach out to IDR for additional information and answers to all your questions. You’ll discover why we’re Orange County’s top producer of TV commercials, infomercials, and online videos for a wide range of businesses, organizations, and brands.



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