Why just one in seven ads delivers a strong emotional message

Although campaigns with a strong focus on emotional relevance and creative engagement lead to increased business, a new report from Kantar Millward Brown shows fewer than one in seven ads are designed to deliver a strong emotional message that consumers will quickly absorb.

The new report, Make a Lasting Impression, uses analysis from Kantar Millward Brown’s database of 160,000 tested ads to demonstrate how understanding the factors that drive engagement can make advertising more effective.

According to PRNewswire, advertising with high creative impact – driven by emotional engagement – delivers significant improvements in predicted short-term share.

Kantar Millward Brown also looked at post-campaign sales across 1,700 campaigns and analysis showed a strong focus on emotional relevance and creative engagement led to increased business.

Similar results have been demonstrated by facial coding (System 1 neuroscience approach), which has been used to assess the expressive response of consumers to ads from more than 9,000 medium/large established brands.

The top ads in generating facial expressions perform much more powerfully in terms of sales uplift. At the same time, the report also explored advertising across TV, pre-roll and social media during the course of a week, which showed that just 15 per cent of ads relied entirely on implicit messaging that people can easily absorb.

Daren Poole, Global Brand Director, Creative Development at Kantar Millward Brown, commented, “Marketers should move beyond the message and focus on the impression they want the ad – and brand – to leave behind as a whole. This includes the creative idea, what is said in the ad, the way the story is told, and the emotional tone. It’s time to stop selling product features – it rarely works. Show; don’t tell.”


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