We let the facts do the talking.


Part 1

We are living in an era of emotion.

According to Nielsen, ads with the best emotional response generate a 23% lift in sales volume. This is supported by recent research released by ‘The Benchmark Series’ from ThinkTV, which showed that ads that generate a strong emotional response are likely to drive a 30% higher sales boost than those that don’t make people feel as strongly, and that ads which provoke a strong reaction attract 16% more attention than those with emotionally weaker messages.

Why have we become such emotional junkies?

Amid digital transformation and the proliferation of digital media, consumers today are confronted by ads and news on all fronts, but particularly from their constant companions — their phone screens. From the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep, we are bombarded with persuasive sales attempts from an increasing number of brands. While around 5,000 messages reach us every day, only 1 to 2% of these reach our conscious.

This is a highly competitive situation for brands and can be overwhelming for consumers. In this context, content needs to do more; it needs to connect consumers with the brand, sell a lifestyle rather than just a product, stand out from the clutter, and reach not only minds but hearts. Emotion has always been used as a tool for getting the consumer’s attention, but as social media breaks down the barriers between consumers and brands, it is becoming more direct and provocative than ever before. Today, brands are using emotional messages to reach consumers on a more meaningful level, and consumers are seeking out emotion-led content to relieve them from the white noise.

What does this mean for the PR world?

In short, it means that we need to be tapping into the consumer thirst for emotion-led content to distinguish our clients from the masses and heighten engagement; however…

Should we be worried about it?

While emotion-led content is important in the communication world, it has the potential to be manipulative and unethical in a number of ways. As brands anxiously scrabble for attention and throw one emotional punch after another, it’s worth slowing down for a second to consider whether misusing emotions could trip brands over in the long run.

In the next part of my blog, I’ll be sharing a few tips on how to create emotion-led content while remaining sensitive and ethical.

Rima Al Jareh is Senior Account Executive at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations. An independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai and offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. |