The Power of Emotions In Advertising


What you need to know to fully engage your customer

Songstress Anita Baker once sang “You’ve got to feel the need in me, baby.” (listen here).

Doritos Flamin’ Hot Commercial with Meg Thee Stallion

As humans, we are emotional beings first, giving credence to why emotions spur us to action (be it good or bad).

Harvard Business Professor Gerald Zaltman conducted research resulting in a relevant fact, “subconscious factors influence 95% of purchase decisions.”^ Our subscious rules our actions because it is where our emotions lie.

Although many believe they’re making rational decisions when making purchases, they often act out of emotions of which they are unaware. People often underestimate how significant a role emotion plays in their lives. Sadness, Happiness, Loneliness and Busyness all drive our purchase and consumption habits. Also, being seen and validated by others is another deep desire of people.

The above Beats By Dre ad created by Translation (an agency of which I was former Chief of Staff), was directed by Prettybird’s Melina Matsoukas (“Queen & Slim,” “Master of None,” “Insecure,”), who also recently helmed Amazon’s ballet-themed holiday ad. Solange Knowles provided the score, and actor and screenwriter Lena Waithe (“Master of None”) wrote the spot’s poem, read by musician Tobe Nwigwe. The confluence of the music, script and moody imagery & cinematography void of direct call-to-action drive brand affinity. This ad is a beautiful piece of work which shines a positive and humane light on Black people, with the invitation for all to see them as such.

In a truly international marketplace, empowered by the internet, the amount of choice available to each of us for any product or service desire is staggering. So, when creating your ad campaign, understand your customer and their true needs. Deliver a solutions-oriented ad which comforts their sadness or aloneness, celebrates their glee, or eases their pain in life. Release them from the doldrums of everyday work and family responsibilities.

Show them that you see them, and you will be rewarded.

^Zaltman research cited in this article.



The O Blog | Marketing POV by Olivia F. Scott

Olivia is a C-Suite Marketing Exec & Founder. An NYU & Loyola Professor, she has led mktg at Carol's Daughter, VIBE, Live Nation, Ogilvy & more for 25+ years.