Real Campaign Examples That Use Emotional Marketing To Drive Response

Googling the term “emotional marketing” yields millions upon millions of results, with relevant information appearing on page after page of ranked content. Yes, it’s a hot topic. It’s always been a hot topic. Humans are emotional creatures—and we’re also consumers. Marketers want to get it right, so we write about it and read about it and do our best to follow best practices to make sure we’re hitting the right emotional targets with the right people at the right time.

Emotional Marketing In Practice
This isn’t our first time addressing the fascinating topic, either. In our post You’ll Love These 4 Ways to Use Emotional Marketing to Boost Response—spoiler alert!—we suggested using emotive language, color theory, images, and social proof to “bring emotion” to your direct response marketing campaigns. We make the point that when you incorporate all four of these elements into your creative strategy, you’re likely to strike an emotional (and motivating!) chord with your audience.

But here, we want to provide some real examples, so you can see how it’s done in the real world of direct response marketing. We can theorize all we want (it’s interesting, isn’t it?), but direct response is all about driving action…so let’s get to it!

Feeling Healthy, Optimistic, and Inspired
Our work with various independent Weight Watchers franchises has required very careful attention to consumer emotion: the brand lives in the health and wellness space—a place with emotional landmines everywhere.

Their marketing campaigns are designed to appeal to people’s desire to feel better and look better, so their messaging needs to motivate them to take action on trying the company’s “lifestyle change” approach to weight loss and wellness.

The top-level corporate branding guidelines we use to guide our execution dictate that franchise marketing (copy and imagery) should be aspirational and empowering, evoking optimism and inspiration. Consider this example:

The goal is to tap into customers’ sense of possibilities, not shame; to elicit a positive emotion, not a negative one. So rather than saying, “Stop doing what you’re doing because it’s not working,” we say, “Start your new beginning.” Likewise, rather than showing a woman struggling to button her pants, we show a woman stepping into her jeans with ease.

Feeling Special, Protected, and Secure
Let’s look at another example from our portfolio. AMA insurance provides insurance products tailored to physicians. Their marketing campaigns target doctors—consumers who are highly educated and tend to lead busy, dynamic professional lives, with little time to “worry” about personal and family insurance protection.

To catch their audience’s attention and drive interest, AMA Insurance’s approach plays to two key emotions: a sense of exclusivity and the warmth of family values. These can be seen in this “Financial Peace of Mind” direct mail package:

The copy imparts the company’s just-for-you offer, with special physician-only rates and plan designs meeting the unique needs of a doctor’s family. At the same time, there’s a “do it for your family” message—conveyed via copy and imagery—that appeals to the customer’s desire to take care of his or her loved ones with the right insurance coverage.

Our goal was to create a package that would tug at the emotions of pride and duty—in the most positive of contexts—and drive recipients to take action on the offer to learn more about the AMA Insurance plan.

In contrast, here’s an example taken from that uses a fear tactic to drive response:


While we weren’t involved in the creation of this piece, it’s clear that security and protection are being sold as a way to allay fears. The image of the robber with a penetrating stare peeking through a black mask—coupled with the edgy font copy letting us know we’re only one break-in away from losing everything we love –delivers a compelling message: protect your home with a security system!

Emotional Marketing Concepts For B2C and B2B Lead Generation
As our examples illustrate, sometimes the use of emotions is subtle; other times, it’s more obvious. There’s more than one approach we can take, and the “right” one depends on how you want your message to resonate with customers and what fits most closely with your overall brand. We can tap into positive emotions or more negative ones—and sometimes it takes a little experimenting to discover what strikes the right chord.

As long as we’re striking a chord!

In her recent post in B2B Marketing, How to Emotionally Engage Your Customers—Without Using Kittens, Mary-Anne Baldwin asserts, “Purchasers are still enshrined in logic and held accountable at many levels, but that’s why emotions matter. In a corridor of closed doors,” she posits, “emotion may be the only one left ajar.”

Contact us to learn more.