Rational Versus Emotional Advertising Appeals: Should You Care? | DMN3

Rational Versus Emotional Advertising Appeals: Should You Care?

Marketers design advertising with a motivational appeal to convey their message. These ad appeals are often classified as either emotional or rational. Such a practice often reflects a naive and false grasp of how they work.

Emotion plays a role in how you react to everything. Your brain has hard-wired emotional responses in it. The reaction is instinctive. Every ad, including the most rational, will elicit an emotional response.

That response is also personal. Consumers bring their own past experiences and psychological makeup to bear. They also bring their own perceptions of the brand, product or service. These factors shape consumers’ responses to advertising.  No one size fits all applies to advertising appeals. For example, as adults age they focus more on emotional information.

At some level, both advertising appeals are at work. While one might dominate by design, both come into play. Emotional appeals might require facts, etc. to justify choices and release a heightened emotional response. This affects how consumers respond to a rational appeal. The response is often called “persuasion.” Studies suggest a correlation between high persuasion scores and a positive emotional response.

The most effective ads use both emotional and rational appeals to motivate consumers. They reflect the adage that consumers buy with emotion and justify the purchase with the rational information.

These two appeals work together in subtle ways based on the:

  • Type of organization and its products and services
  • Maturity of the brand or products
  • Makeup of the target audience
  • Product satisfaction

For instance, a mature product might have already made the rational case to consumers. When it uses an emotional appeal consumers might be associating the rational reasons in their minds as well. That’s why product satisfaction is the largest driver of emotional response. Consumers recall their own experiences using the product as they react to the ad.

To be effective, advertisers need to understand their prospects. They also need to know how to best blend the emotional and rational parts of a marketing campaign. Ads need to evoke conscious thought. They need to associate the memories left by the ad and the brand. If done well, it will have the potential to affect actions for months into the future. However, it’s easier said than done.

The marketing professionals at DMN3 use data-driven insights to create ads and campaigns. DMN3 combines the right balance of emotional and rational appeals to help clients acquire the maximum results.