New Research: Your Advertising Message Is Irrelevant


According to this, the public isn't stupid, just overly emotional.

Dr Robert Heath, from the University of Bath's School of Management, found that advertisements with high levels of emotional content enhanced how people felt about brands, even when there was no real message.

However, advertisements which were low on emotional content had no effect on how favourable the public were towards brands, even if the ad was high in news and information.

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  • Of course this begs the question: ‘Does making a favourable impression upon people cause sales to increase?’

    The answer may seem obvious. But I’m not so sure. American advertisers, with few exceptions, seem to have given up on trying to sell anyone anything. For years, they’ve been content to garner a laugh, a tear or a cringe, then scoop up their industry award and move on to the next emotional production.

    It makes me pine for my old copy of Claude C. Hopkins ‘Scientific Advertising.’

  • The decision makers who pay the advertising bills aren’t as lost as their agents and the media reps. They keep putting more money into other ways to find more customers. Media’s share of the trillion plus marketing budget has been shrinking.
    Claude Hopkins had the answer. Everybody should read him. “The only purpose of advertising is to make sales. It is profitable or unprofitable according to its actual sales.” That said I think he would agree there is good scientific thinking behind the emotional appeals. People make decisions on emotions that they later back up with logic.

  • Geez, marketing 101. It is our goal to elicit emotional responses with our marketing strategies. More than a little research exists supporting that we have little chance of making a sale if we don’t appeal to the senses first and then allow the customer to apply whatever intellect is required to make the purchase.