Welcome to the Emotion and Advertising Web Site!

by Jorge Villegas


The ad that you just saw is from Benetton, one of the most aggressive and savvy marketers in the world. Its ads are famous, or infamous, because of its use of emotionally loaded images. Other companies that use an emotional approach are Kodak, Coca Cola and AT&T.


Advertising Age


Other examples of the use of emotion are easy to pinpoint in the next set of slogans:

 Let's play the old and always interesting: Can you guess the brand?

1. Reach out and touch someone
2. We bring good things to life
3. The heartbeat of America
4. ______, or else.
5. Just Do it

Now compare them with the next set of slogans:

1. The science behind the beauty
2. Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman
3. Good to the last drop
4. So clean, it's virtually spotless
5. ____, It's everywhere you want to be.


What are the differences between both sets? Would you agree that the second set appeals to the rational side of a person? Send me an email with your thoughts: jvillega@uts.cc.utexas.edu


The objective of this web site is to explore the use of emotion in the advertising world. This theme is relevant because a consumer may experience a strong emotional response to a product or service creating the set up for a high effort decision making or in other words, the consumer use central-route processing (Hoyer and MacInnis 1997). For example, if a couple is going to get married, selecting a honeymoon destination is quite an emotional roller coaster. At least in my case!

Products that are bought with a low effort decision making, or peripheral route processing, can also use emotional appeals to increase the involvement of the consumer (Hoyer and MacInnis 1997). For example, in my childhood I periodically went to bookstores with my father, so I have fond memories of some bookstores. Now, If I see an advertisement that shows emotional images of a father and son at a nice bookstore, believe me I am going to buy books there.

Therefore, at all levels of involvement, the use of an emotional approach in advertisements is one of the main tools of the trade.

In a similar view of advertising theory, Plummer and Holman (1981) believe that the traditional hierarchy learning model, or AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action), is wrong in its strong emphasis in the cognitive elements. These authors consider that an emotional response is at least as important as the cognitive response, because between them there is an interconnection so relevant that "an emotional response must precede cognitive storage or long-term memory" (Plummer and Holman 1981 p. 2).

If you are interested in exploring the topic of emotion and advertising, you have the following options:

I hope that the information included in this page is useful and a little bit entertaining. If you have any comments or questions regarding this web site or topic please contact me via e-mail: jvillega@uts.cc.utexas.edu