A Guide On Creating Ads That Appeal To Emotions(With Examples)

emotional marketing.

Advertising appeals are strategies where ads use emotions to lure customers into seeing and purchasing a product, also known as emotional appeal. This advertisement involves creating ads that connect the customer’s emotion to a brand. The ultimate goal is to make the customer buy the product often without them realizing it. When  ads  spark emotions, they:

In this article, we will look at creating ads that will appeal to the customer’s emotions.

Difference Between Rational And Emotional Advertising Appeal

Ads appeals can be categorized into different categories. The main ones are:

  • Rationale: These types of ads aim to appeal to consumers based on the features and facts about a  product. The ads are usually based on logic and reasoning. They highlight why the product is worth buying and include details such as features, price, quality, and functionality.
  • Emotional appeal. As we noted earlier, emotional appeals are aimed at eliciting emotions. They persuade a customer to take action based on their desires and emotions.

There are other kinds of ad appeals, such as humor, sexual, fear, and scarcity appeals. But in this article, we are focusing on the emotional appeal.

Positive Vs. Negative Appeal Advertising

Consider these two ads:

“Join us in making London, green, and the perfect home for everyone.”

“London needs you more than ever before! Join us in clearing it of the trash before it’s too late and Mother Nature reacts.”

The two ads appealing to pathos show that the first has positive emotions, evoking pride and admiration. The second one has negative emotions and evoking fear and regret. So, which of these two ads is more effective?

Psychologists suggest that human beings are moved by avoiding pain more than pleasure, a scenario known as loss aversion. This indicates that negative appeal is more effective than positive appeal. 

However, this is not always the case, as messages with negative connotations can be harmful to brands. Therefore, negative emotion appeal should only be used in cases where there are severe consequences of not using a product, with the ad providing a clear solution.

Positive appeal ads are effective in many areas as they evoke pride, joy, satisfaction,  pride, and aspiration. You will rarely go wrong with happiness and other positive emotions, even though it’s important to confirm.

There is always the option of combining the two in the same campaign. Going by our earlier example, you can, therefore, have an ad that sounds like:

You have the power to save London from trash and make it the perfect, green home. Join us in cleaning up the city before it’s too late.

Tips For Creating An Ad That Appeals To Emotions

Here are tips to create ads that appeal to emotions.

Use an advertising object.

This refers to the purpose of the commercial. Consider what action you want a consumer to take after viewing an ad. What emotions will have the most significant impact after watching the ad?

Your emotional appeal needs to match the content of the ad. For instance, if you are promoting an adventure trip to a safari destination, it’s advisable to use happiness or excitement appeal instead of fear.

Use visuals

One of the best ways of making your message clear to your audience is by supporting it with images. Ensure that pictures and videos support your audio. For instance, if you run a commercial encouraging people to adopt dogs, you can include a video of a beautiful furry friend running to her owner.

Check competition

To understand the market trends, keep checking the actions of the competition. You can then form innovative strategies to grow your brand. For instance, when doing social media competition analysis, you might notice that your competitors are using ads with pathos; you can then research more on how consumers respond to such ads.

Check changes in consumer behavior.

How consumers behave today doesn’t guarantee that they will behave the same way tomorrow. This is why you must track consumer behaviors and social media trends. For instance, a commercial in the newspaper might have been effective 20 years ago, but today, you may want to consider other options, such as YouTube.

Use music and sounds.

Music and sound are effective in creating a tone and supporting the event without overpowering the other part of the message. A good example is the Barbie doll movie, which became a great hit after its creative advertisement strategy.

Use in an email signature.

A signature is a reflection of who you are, your business, and your cause. When you include emotional triggers in your emails, you can make your customers take action. For instance, you can use an email signature to include a humorous tagline so the reader can associate that emotion with your brand. However, this will also need different factors such as:

  • Nature of the product
  • Target audience
  • The tone and language of the email

Example Of Brands That Use Ads That Appeal to Emotions


This company uses ads that use pathos to make people associate the brand with happiness. In 2015, the company used a tagline, Choose Happiness, to encourage customers to consume Coca-Cola during their happy moments. This was a good example of an advertisement that appeals to emotions.

Coca-cola uses emotional marketing.


During Christmas, the brand ran an advertisement appealing to emotions dubbed Mog Christmas calamity. The ad pulled the viewer’s emotion by creating a feeling of watching an old Christmas movie. It features the misfortune of a house burning and the firefighters coming in to rescue a cooked Turkey. The neighbors come in with many tools and materials to rebuild the home.


This German supermarket had an ad starring a grandfather trying to get the children to come home for Christmas and every year celebrates alone. He finally decides to fake his death to make them reach for the holiday, and the strategy works. The ad finishes with the tagline Time to come home.”

In Conclusion

Ads that appeal to emotional advertisement are an excellent choice for helping a brand create a connection with its customers. This guide will prove helpful if you are unsure where to start creating emotional ads with pathos. You can also read our guide on using an inbound marketing plan to attract customers.

Benjamin is a writer with over ten years of experience in the content writing field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in  Journalism from Strathmore University. He writes on various niches such as product reviews, self-improvement, and making mone online. You can find him curled on his couch with a self-improvement book when he is not blogging.