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How Your Small Business Can Leverage Emotional Advertising

By Barbara Beauregard   |    September 21, 2016   |    1:36 PM


To help your small business stand out, learn how to make deeper, cost-effective connections through emotional advertising:

According to industry data, the average consumer sees or hears over 5000 advertisements every day. Of these, only around a dozen make any sort of impression.

Common Methods

Whether it's fear, guilt, joy, shame or envy, emotions drive us to take action. Modern advertisers successfully leverage these feelings to effectively engage with audiences. While some products and services seem like obvious candidates for emotional advertising campaigns, others do not. In reality, however, you can market almost anything using emotional leverage if you understand some of the most common methods.

Benefits First, Features Second

Show consumers how your product or service can benefit them in unexpected ways. Perhaps it will free up time for vacations or family outings. Maybe it will directly impact the quality of their lives. Small business owners are often too excited to brag about specific product features instead of promoting how these aspects might alter a customer's daily life.

Tap into Anxieties

Many successful advertising campaigns focus on fear. Insurance companies paint ominous pictures of damage and loss from floods, fires, tornadoes and untimely deaths. PSAs shock viewers with commercials involving texting-related car wrecks and health issues from smoking. Home security systems produce dramatic advertisements featuring masked home invaders. Whatever the angle, guilt, fear and anxiety are powerful motivators that can elevate interest and prompt action.

Fitting in

Numerous emotional advertising campaigns center on feelings of belonging. Do you have the right shoes, the right clothes or the right handbag? Is your house big enough? Is your watch expensive enough? Is your carpet clean enough for your Thursday night dinner party? Does your car go zero to 60 in a short enough timespan? Most people worry about how they are perceived by others. If your product or service can boost their self-esteem, you should let them know about it.

Psychological Factors

Some products and services don't really lend themselves to traditional emotional advertising. In these cases, many businesses opt to pitch their message in situations that might evoke feeling. It might be a product juxtaposed against a puppy or an adorable baby. It could be a happy family enjoying new furniture. There could also be comedic elements that have nothing to do with the product at all. Ultimately, it's about connecting on an emotional level and attracting focus, so your advertisement can be one of the lucky 12 that successfully connect on any given day.