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Emotion in advertising

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Advertisers should craft ads around creativity and emotion and not factual content to build strong brand relationships, a study published in the December issue of Journal of Advertising Research finds. "High attention weakens the effect of emotional content," so ads might be more effective "processed at lower levels of attention," report Robert Heath, School of Management, University of Bath, UK, et al. The authors worked with research firm OTX to assess the rational and emotional content of 23 U.S. on-air ads and 20 in the UK. They then surveyed 200 people in each country to gauge their responses to the featured brands. "The results confirm that favorability towards brands is strongly correlated with emotional content in advertising, but not with factual content," Heath states, adding that subtle emotional elements are more likely to work "because the viewer has less opportunity to rationally evaluate, contradict and weaken their potency"...

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