Advertising effectiveness and your emotions

30th September 2016

No doubt, the challenge of a marketing message is to find a most effective way to communicate information. But how could we find it?


As discussed in previous posts, some information is processed consciously whereas other information is processed non-consciously. Some information generates rational thought, some generates emotional thought. While rational thoughts are more neutral, emotional thoughts are dependent on the degree of positivity and the level of excitement caused by the message.


These dimensions influence whether marketing messages will be more effective in the form of a text or a picture, therefore it’s particularly important to understand how these invisible forces could be leveraged to optimise the clarity of communication.


Is using just text a good advertising strategy?


It’s been well documented that written word causes conscious information processing which is slow and, most often, believed to be the cause of what’s often thought to be rational behaviour of consumer. Admittedly, rational information is necessary for a “final punch” towards desired behaviour. The downside of such information is that it requires tremendous resources in terms of thinking and ,therefore, consumers tend to rely on effortless emotional processes and gather rational information last.

However, a certain type of text – known as emotional word – can be processed in a more automatic and non-conscious manner. It was demonstrated that words denoting emotions (excited, happy) as well as abstract words characterised by more general emotional connotation (winner, champion) can create specific emotional reactions.


The effect of these messages is often weaker than the effect of purely non-conscious messages. Despite that, such type of communication might be highly influential in cases where marketing strategy requires to set low arousing and relatively neutral tone.


In contrast, pictures are extremely effective in building emotional responses, because they don’t require much effort, quickly capture attention, and are easy to process. For this reason, pictures can generate emotional reactions within milliseconds and create positive consumer experience a lot quicker than any rational thoughts.

It is very important to design a message that elicits the required level of excitement and creates the right amount of positivity because only certain combinations

can generate the desired effect on consumer behaviour. In particular, studies showed that consumers’ attention is dependent on the degree of positivity of the message whereas its memorability is shaped by the level of excitement. In other words, the more exciting and positive a message is, the more likely you are to remember it.


Using words and images


Quite often, text and pictures get combined together and their individual effect remains unclear. While, of course,the  overall effect of the message

is always quantified, the effect of individual elements like text and pictures often remains unknown. To this end, marketing messages miss a chance to deliver the maximum effect, because their non-conscious components remain unoptimised and unconsidered.

At Innovationbubble, we use scientifically valid tools which help to optimise the effect of the conscious and non-conscious components of marketing messages. This enables us to support clients design messages which will get the highest possible amount of attention and will be memorised easier. If you’d like to hear more about how we can support you in finding the WHY’s behind your customers’ behavior, please get in touch at [email protected]

Author: Laura Zaikauskaitė

Author: Innovationbubble