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5 September 2022 Video production tips and best practices

5 ways to emotionally hook your audience

Want your next video ad to really connect with your audience? Harness the power of emotional marketing with these 5 examples.

There have been countless psychological studies that emphasise the role emotion plays in influencing where we spend our money. 

Done well, emotional advertising is more memorable because we remember most about how something made us feel, rather than what was said to us. And by tapping into the aspirations, feelings or psychologies that drive the people within your target audience, you'll create strong emotional connections with them and move them to take action.

It also leads to more social shares and inspires customer loyalty. Just think of the John Lewis Christmas ads and how the UK anticipates their arrival each year, it's become the sure sign that the Christmas shopping season has kicked off. 

So, How can we use emotions to hook our audience in video marketing? 
  1. Tell a story
  2. Make them laugh
  3. Get weird with it
  4. Harness nostalgia
  5. Hold a mirror to your audience
1. Tell a story

We're creatures predisposed to tell stories in order to connect with each other, make sense of a chaotic world and bring meaning to our lives. They help us empathise and build trust with those around us. And that's exactly why they're the most effective way to communicate your message.

We keep coming back to this example from Apple Watch.

The ad revolves around three individuals named Amanda, Jason, and Jim who were each able to get help within 3 minutes thanks to their Apple Watches. 

In a 'show me, don't tell me' kind of way, this suspenseful video doesn't even show or have a voiceover explaining the product, yet it perfectly explains just how important the Apple Watch has been for those finding themselves in need of immediate help. It's an emotional watch (no pun intended) that really drives their message home

2. Make them laugh

It's not easy to be funny with your advertising. In fact, it feels really unintuitive when you're wanting to be taken seriously by your audience. But while humour is often hard to get right in advertising, it's also the most powerful way to engage your audience. Plus, showing that you don't mind laughing at yourself helps to humble and humanise your brand.

But there are so many ways to make people laugh, and it's important to go down the right route for your audience. You need to think about your brand positioning and decide what type of humour might be the best fit. For example, a carefree and spontaneous brand like Innocent Smoothies lends itself well to being a little childish and silly, whereas a more assertive and bold brand like Dollar Shave Club can afford to be more dry with their sense of humour. 

This chaotic ad from Salesforce is a great example of how to get your message across and make people laugh at the same time.

3. Get weird with it

We're all hard-wired to see patterns in things and try to guess what might be coming next. So, if you surprise your audience by going in the complete opposite direction, you'll stir up emotions like shock, confusion, pure bewilderment, humour, and more as they attempt to process what the heck just happened. And that makes things way more interesting and memorable. 

This Reebok ad is a great example of how to hook your audience and be memorable with something... well... quite bizarre. 

4. Harness nostalgia

Taking your audience on a trip down memory lane can be a really simple yet powerful way to emotionally hook them.

By taking things that the audiences already attach emotion to and featuring them in your advertising, you're already making an emotional connection. Think about what things your audience might have loved or experienced as a kid, and tap into that. Perhaps it's a song, a TV show, a film, or a games console.

Here's a great example from Spotify, which features Falkor from The Neverending Story (1984) and his boy companion Atreyu, who is now a heavily bearded 40-something-year-old man. 

5. Hold a mirror to your audience

It's much easier to emotionally connect with someone you can identify with, so reflecting your customer back on them within your ad can be a really powerful way to hook them.

To do this, you need to be sure you go beyond your audience's demographics, and have a clear understanding of their personality traits, motivations, likes, and dislikes.

This example from Volkswagen is targeting parents that drive their kids to school, and plays with the all-too-familiar 'embarrassing parent' viewpoint that most of us have experienced, whether that be as a child or a parent. 


Emily Malone

Written by Emily Malone Marketing Manager for Venture — a full-service video production agency that specialises in producing creative videos & campaigns that get real results.

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