Leveraging Emotion in Advertising

Graphic by Nia Freeman

With the sheer volume of media circulating today, it is vital to create advertising that sticks out among the crowd. It no longer matters how big the audience is that is exposed to an ad, but whether or not it catches their attention amidst the chaos of content. Evoking emotion in advertising is the key to getting an ad to stand out as someone consumes media.

The Importance of Emotion in Advertising 

For an ad to stick with a consumer longer than a few minutes after they see it, it must not only be eye-catching, but impactful.

Emotion is at the core of what makes an impactful ad. 

Tugging on emotions is a strong tactic to get a consumer to pay attention. It also creates an important connection between the consumer and the brand because the emotion will then be associated with that brand. 

Whether it be sadness, laughter, happiness, or shock, you need to first discern what emotions you want consumers to connect with your brand and then begin designing your advertising around those core emotional values.

How to Use Emotion  


Advertising has evolved over time, moving past the traditional format of simply explaining product benefits. Today, the best advertising consists of well-crafted messages that say something meaningful.

The core message of an ad should elicit an emotion from the consumer and leave them feeling better off for having come across it. 

Whether it be pure entertainment or a more profound message about a social issue that consumers can relate to, the message portrayed in an ad becomes the bigger picture associated with the brand.

 That message then shapes the experience the consumer has when interacting with the brand or product. 

Point of View 

Point of view is about developing a narrative and finding the correct voice to tell that story in the desired way. 

Different angles of the same story can portray different meanings, and that is why it’s important to determine what voice the message should be told from. Is it a voice that is laid back, or has more urgency? Is it from a comedic voice, or one of a more serious nature?

Experiment with different points of view that are interesting but also authentic to the brand. 

Visuals and Sound 

Visuals and sound effects are vital to ads as they support the story being told. 

Visually, it is important to show what you are trying to communicate rather than plainly state it. Take a “show don’t tell” approach. People are clever enough to put the pieces together if the visuals effectively reinforce the emotional experience of the message. 

Sound effects, including music, are important emotional signals. Everyone can think of the stereotypical music that is played during tense moments in scary movies, and that is because such music truly enhances the experience. Sound effects further reinforce the emotion you are trying to elicit from the consumer. 

There are so many different ways to bring emotional signals into your advertising, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start and what’s going to work. All of the teams at 1893 Brand Studio know how to evoke emotion in their work, from blog posts to logo designs, and would love to work with you!

By Lauren LaTulippe