Academic journal article IUP Journal of Brand Management

Does Emotional Appeal Work in Advertising? the Rationality Behind Using Emotional Appeal to Create Favorable Brand Attitude

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Brand Management

Does Emotional Appeal Work in Advertising? the Rationality Behind Using Emotional Appeal to Create Favorable Brand Attitude

Article excerpt

The paper attempts to assimilate the current thinking on the use of emotional appeals in advertising, positioning and communication in order to build a favorable attitude towards a brand. It elucidates the areas where emotional appeals would work best, while pointing out the possible pitfalls in employing such a strategy across the board. Further, an attempt has been made to interpret the current body of knowledge on the subject and create a context for general application of emotional appeal in advertising. The paper identifies products and services for which emotional advertising appeals will be more suitable. It also elaborates the risk involved in using emotional appeals. Factors influencing effectiveness of emotional appeals are discussed in detail and guidelines are drawn for effective use of emotional appeals. The authors have suggested future direction of research in the area of use of advertising appeal and its influence on brand attitude formation.


Advertising is a critical component of the marketing mix for any brand. Thus, an understanding of effective advertising appeals for particular product or service types is important to national and international brand promotion.

In advertising, brand recall always matters. It is the brand recall at the point of purchase that guides the success or failure of a brand. In earlier advertising theories, it is believed that undying support for brand recall was a conspiracy orchestrated by manufacturers who believed more in functional messaging than in the power of emotional bond that advertising can create for the brand leading to favorable associations.

In the seminal work on major influences of advertising on the attitude of customers, researchers (Callahan, 1974) have highlighted a few critical issues related to emotional responses to advertising. From that time onwards, many authors have worked in this area and have found that advertising evaluations are deliberated by negative affects and stimulated by positive effects. This also establishes the fact that liking/preference towards an advertisement may lead to development of positive attitude towards a brand leading to higher purchase intention. In various models of advertising effectiveness testing, brand knowledge comes first and this leads to development of attitude and brand evaluation. George and Berry (1981) proposed a model in which 'primary affective reactions' or 'ad evoked feelings play an important role. This plays the role of a gatekeeper on brand information processing. Other authors have tested the role of evoked emotions and have found that ad-evoked feelings have a direct influence on attitude towards the advertised brand and purchase intention. They have also observed that they have indirect influence thus having a mediating effect on consumer attitude towards the advertisements.

Wang et al. (2009) and Bulbul et al. (2010) have showed that different types of executions on the basis of emotion on various copy platforms like humor, eroticism, fear and love lead to different advertising evoked feelings and difference in the formation of attitude towards (1) the advertisement and brand recognition; and (2) attitude towards the brand and purchase intention.

So the key question is about the role that ad-evoked feelings play in the marketing communication process, and whether their relative importance depends on the type of emotional execution used.

A survey of literature of past couple of years indicates that the ability of television advertising to persuade customers for buying is on a decline due to increase in media clutter and fragmentation of media. To make advertising appeals more distinctive and hence perhaps more persuasive, advertisers frequently use dramatic emotional ad-messages designed to 'shock the emotions and make the brain itch' (Chaudhari, 2002). It is observed that emotion-based high impact advertising executions are based on evocating ad-sensuous appeals which lead to generation of strong positive emotions. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.