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Marketing | 8 minutes read

Emotional Marketing Through Videos – What Works and What Doesn’t

Aileen Barz Autor Mynd Blog

Author: Aileen Barz

22. October 2019

Whether for advertising campaigns or the entire branding process - emotional marketing helps companies to reach and retain their target group indefinitely. We will tell you why video is an essential component and what you should avoid.

We have a problem.

Everyone knows it: The Xth commercial on TV, on YouTube, or Facebook, the Xth advertisement from the last product research on all websites and social media channels you’ve visited.

Programmatic marketing, retargeting, and the like have now become standard tools of many marketers. But let's be honest: advertising is everywhere. And it kills us.

Whether advertising by text, picture, or video; no matter if on social media, your blog, or in your email: Your advertising must remain in the viewer's memory. But how?

The problem:

User behavior has changed. It is becoming more and more difficult for companies to reach people. More advertising? That is certainly not the answer. The largest reach of an advertisement is of no use if it does not trigger a response in the viewer.

The solution: Emotional marketing.

Emotional marketing: Two terms that don't really seem to belong together at first glance. But we’re not talking about a new concept, a new trend, but about a deep human mechanism – of which advertising makes use.

What touches us remains in our heads. People are emotional beings. They react to both positive and negative feelings. Think for yourself: Which advertising bit comes to your mind first? Most likely, it made you happy, sad, or angry – it was touching and emotional.

A large-scale study by the rating agency Advertising confirms the results, which the neuroscientist Alan Snyder already discovered in 2005: 95% of purchase decisions are determined by subconscious factors.

Good marketing effectively emotionalizes your advertisement – product information becomes the secondary matter. Nowadays (almost) any information about a product, a brand, or a company can be found quickly and easily.


Emotions help the consumer remember your brand or your company and to share or buy your products or services.

Joy, anger, grief, fear.

A gripping story. A touching moment. Joy that infects. Grief that carries you away. Emotional advertising can mean all that. Ultimately, emotional marketing is about a marketing strategy that reaches people on an emotional level.

It's the biggest emotions that make a difference. This can be any strong emotion: Happiness, fear, anger, or grief. However, it is certainly the positive emotions that you should aim to associate your company.

emotional marketing

These are the strong emotions that your advertising should address.

Triggering the right emotions – with video.

They are emotional stories that reach the user. But how does your campaign become emotional and how do you best reach your target group? No text, no image, and no audio alone can evoke as much emotion as video can.

In many of our blog articles, we describe the advantages of the use of video – whether to increase your conversion rate, for a better SEO ranking on Google, or to make complex things understandable with an explainer video.

As a video communications agency, we work every day on how a video story can help a company reach its goals. That's why we could also talk about emotional storytelling instead of emotional marketing.

That's why emotional marketing is not really new for us. And if we know one thing: Storytelling depends on the right technique to trigger a certain emotion. In our XXL Storytelling Guide, you will find out where you can use Storytelling in your company.

This is what emotional videos need.

In addition to an authentic story that conveys the right feeling for a brand, videos for emotional marketing are less about a product or a service, but concentrate on one thing throughout the storyline: the feeling.

Emotional videos have the following characteristics:

  • They deliberately aim at a certain feeling, which is embedded in a story.
  • They hit the nerve of the potential target audience, such as their values, desires, or goals.
  • They often use one or more protagonists who embody the emotion, e.g. through their personal story.
  • They remain in memory because they are different from classic advertising measures and messages.


Get help to create your emotional video – and dare. Professional video productions have an excellent feel for the right story and work with you to find the right solution.

In one of our articles, we show you our 8 brand video favorites with really good storytelling for emotional marketing. Here you can see examples of how emotional marketing should not be and why.

How emotional advertising doesn't work.

Negative examples from video marketing.

Fail #1: Time to Come Home.

Access and click rates say little about the success of your campaign. The best example is Edeka's well-known German Christmas commercial: Time to Come Home.

Emotional Marketing Fail Number 1: Despite a happy end, a controversial commercial.

The video shows an old and lonely man who has to celebrate Christmas every year without his family. Only with a supposed message about his own death does the family come together. "How else could I have brought you together," the old man says desperately.

With over 63 million views on YouTube alone (as of October 2019), this video has received enormous amounts of attention. Edeka commissioned the agency Jung von Matt. The result was a video that split the big public. For some, the campaign was a complete success. Others found the video cynical and disrespectful.

But what did Edeka do with it? Reach. Edeka came into the focus of many consumers through an emotional story that addressed a current problem: Time. And too little time with the family due to work, stress, and distance.

Fail #2: Strangers Talking Money.

Another negative example is the video for the new "Strangers Talking Money" campaign. The director is known from the video project "First Kiss,” in which strangers supposedly see each other for the first time and kiss each other – a positive emotion, namely love and affection, which is triggered by the viewer here.

The difference: While First Kiss is not structured at an advertising message or campaign of a company, the film Strangers Talking Money is a clear marketing instrument for the financial company Sofi. In the film, strangers meet each other and talk about money and their feelings about it:

Emotional Marketing Fail Number 2: No achievement of objectives without trust foundation.

Fail #3: On your Child's Life.

Do you know the warning signs on the edge of German motorways that draw attention to the dangers of speeding? This commercial follows the same example as part of the "Fire Kills" campaign of the HM Government (Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

Emotional Marketing Fail #3: The biggest fear parents trigger.

The video shows a boy walking around in a burned house, visibly sad. He speaks to the viewer and recalls the promise to test the fire alarm regularly – to save him and his family from the fire. At the end of the video, it becomes clear that the boy is speaking from beyond the grave and has already fallen victim to a fire.

The reason: Negative stimuli superimpose positive feelings.

Findings from Neuromarketing.

Which moved many spectators emotionally, does not necessarily mean that the commercial was also successful. The quality of the videos is great, no question. From the point of view of neuromarketing, these stories, despite a happy ending, trigger a fight-or-flight reaction in the brain. These are avoidance scripts in our subconscious, which have a sales-inhibiting effect.

All three examples above are professional and highly emotional. And there lies the problem: the emotional response is too strong.

How you can do it better.

Measure the success of your emotional video.

The above example from Edeka with her campaign Time to Come Home shows that the most important video marketing indicators (so-called KPI's) for emotional videos do not go far enough. When are emotional campaigns successful?

To evaluate the success of your emotional video, you can use the Subconscious Decision Marketing Index (SDMI) to examine whether your emotional advertising is also sales-promoting.

What is the SDMI:

The index provides a transparent and comparable indicator from 35 scientific disciplines that describes the effect of advertising measures on a customer's unconscious purchase decision.

Specially-trained experts carry out the analysis, evaluation, and calculation of your campaign and give you practical recommendations for action.

Let the professionals do it.

Invest directly in quality videos from a professional video agency whose craft is emotional storytelling. We are happy to support you »

Would you like to be more successful?

Achieve your goals through video - let's talk!

Adriana Prokešová Head of Production

Head of Production

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