Emotion in Advertisements

Emotions are a key influencing factor for customers behind most of the purchase decisions and most often emotion surpasses rationality in purchase decisions. Emotions are responsible for creating brand image and brand loyalty also. Emotions attached with an advertisement are a major factor influencing people to buy the product advertised. Human emotion could be classified into four basic emotions: happiness, sadness, anger and surprise/afraid. Advertisers uses these emotions based on the products they are advertising. For instance, most of the ads of Coca-Cola are focused on happiness. Most of the ads by World Wildlife Fund causes a mixture of surprise/afraid.

With growth of technologies such as emotion analytics, it is possible for companies to measure emotional reactions to their advertisement campaigns and if successful they could follow up with campaigns having similar emotional elements in it. While social media acts as a medium for listening, it’s the emotion analytics which really analyses the success of an ad campaign. It also provides insights regarding a customers’ behaviour pattern, which advertisers can use to build personalized advertisement campaigns.

There are many companies which are focused on providing emotional analytics for advertisement.  For instance, Unruly, a video tech company, has launched content testing tool which helps advertisers in Hong Kong and Taiwan to analyse the emotional impact of their video ads and to assess the connection with consumers through their engagement with the ad content. Unruly uses algorithm trained with 1.3 million consumer responses in videos which enables advertisers to predict the social impact of their future video contents.


Analytics is a huge market and vendors providing analytics are aiming to venture into more areas for data generation such as emotion analytics. With most of the online ads consumed through smart phones, the front camera acts as an excellent medium for capturing the emotions of the ad viewer. However, there are many criticisms to this approach since it is a violation of user privacy.

– Arjun Das,
Senior Research Analyst -ICT,
Infoholic Research