The Role Of Positive Emotions In Advertising Psychology Essay

23 Mar 2015

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Needs are one if not the only primary reason consumers buy products. When Consumers want to purchase a product they go through a proses that determine which product to buy and which brand. The proses consist of five steps, problem recognition, information search, alternative evaluation, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior.

We are only going to focus on the first, because this step deals the most with motivating and how emotion influences it. Consumer needs are closely encompasses with emotion and thus marketers focus on emotions in advertising so that consumers will punches their products to fur full their needs.

Marketers cannot create needs, however they can create desires and thus they emphasizes these desires through the use of emotions. Thus certain question arises among marketers, which emotions work best for their products position and what emotion will captivate the consumer to the extent of a purchase.

Emotions can bee divided in to 2 categories as positive emotions and negative emotions. Positive emotions will be emotions such as happiness, satisfaction, love and hope where negative emotions will be sad, anger, hate, and sorrow. In appendix there is a fig 2.3 that divides the emotion words. Emotions influence motivation that derives from needs, thus the positive and negative emotion are also used as reinforcement. We will discuss this in more detail bellow.

Emotion has a significant influence on ouer memory and thus this is imported for the marketer to understand the correlation between memory and emotions so that they can use this to the advantage. “Current personal events of both a major and minor nature will have temporary effects on adult consumers' emotional states. A major negative event, such as job loss or death of a divorce, or a major positive event, such as a job promotion or marriage, may cause long-term (say six months) emotional shifts beyond the middle range, while minor positive or negative events (say a helpful salesperson or an offensive advertisement), may only affect emotional states for a few minutes.”(1999, Elizabeth & Barbra)

Emotions are universal to all humans which means, it is an easy way to spread the message of an advert to a divers target market if the advert uses basic emotions such as love and happiness. There are how ever differences in how different cultures respond to more complex different emotions such as shame, for example Japannees culture is very careful of the burden shame and dishonor.

Positive emotions

The role of positive emotions in advertising

As mentioned above, positive emotions are emotions such as happiness, joy and basically any emotion that leaves the consumer in a pleasant state of mind (see annexure for more). Positive reinforcement is when positive emotions are used to motivate the consumer to purchase a product, for example a person must drink milk because it is healthy. To emphasize the positive outcomes, the marketer lists all the positive effects milk has and present the desired experience that will be gained if one purchase milk.

Marketers must keep in mind that they should not over sel there product on positive emotions so that the customer will not over estimate the emotional value attach to the product. When a consumer purchases the product and the marketer has created high positive expectations with satisfaction and the product does not live up to it. The consumer will be disappointed and suffer from cognitive dissonance if their expectations are not met.

“Multiple studies have found that positive emotions that lead to positive mood enhance an advertisement's effectiveness, consumers' information processing ability and recall. Perhaps the most controversial findings relate to the role of positive mood in enhancing information processing ability.”(1999, Elizabeth & Barbra)

Elizabeth and Barbra also discovered that although an advert may contain either positive or negative content, the consumer spens more time watching an advert with a positive content, the reason for that is, it creates a positive mood for the consumer.

The role of positive emotions in the shopping environment

Emotion has a huge influence on a consumer's attitude. In a shopping environment the manger of the store should be aware of this and make provisions to counter any negative emotions that can lead to a distasteful and unsatisfied customer.

Thus the manger should make his customer service more user-friendly, the employees that work directly with customers should be effective and the whole physical environment should be tasteful and pleasant.

Hertzberg's two factor theory is applicable in this situation, certain precautions must be taken for a consumer to be in a neutral state of emotion, for example the shopping environment has to be neat and tidy for a consumer before they will even think of shopping there and the second factor is the extra effort that the employees puts in to making the shopping environment pleasant so that the consumer will be motivated to shop there.

“The result of a positive mood induction on the performance of a helping task has been found to last approximately twenty minutes.”(1999, Elizabeth & Barbra) In those twenty minutes when the consumer is in a positive state of mind, the consumer will be more likely to purchase products more easily, normally in such a positive state of mind the consumer will treat themselves and buy self-gifts.

“Impulse purchases typically occur during 'high' emotional states.” (1999, Elizabeth & Barbra) thus, when a pleasant shopping environment has been created and the consumer is experiencing positive emotions, the consumer is more likely to indulge in impulsive purchasing.

Negative emotions

The role of negative emotions in Advertising

Negative emotions are the direct opposite of positive emotions. It leaves the consumer in an unpleasant state of mind. “Negative emotions are used to generate an emotional imbalance which can be rectified by engaging in the featured (desired) behavior. The marketers hope that by creating discomfort people will be motivated to act (or not) to decrease the feeling of discomfort” (2010, Brennan & Binney).

Negative reinforcement can also lead to motivation, which leads to the purchase of a product or service. The marketer will combined negative consequences if one does not purchase their product for example one should buy an security gate before one falls victim to a horendes crime that you mite pay with your life.

Marketers should be careful of how they use negative emotions, if the emotions are to strong and unpleasant the consumer will be upset and shutdown. The consumer will not pay attention and avoid the rest of the advert if content is to intens. “The cutting off from reality occurs when thoughts are in conflict and cannot be resolved.”(2002, Williams & Aaker) This meaning that when a consumer hears something they do not want to hear they will cut it out, for example a smoker does not pay any attention to all the smoking dangers.

The role of negative emotions in the shopping environment

“It's been found that a positive/negative shopping experience had a significant effect on mood. This was especially true for highly involved shoppers” (2010, Brennan & Binney) Negative emotions that's induced in a shopping environment can only deteriorate a consumers motivation on purchasing a product, however if the negative emotion was the catalyst that lead to the motivation of the consumer to come and purchase a certain product it's a different story.

“Stereotypically, females tend to be more emotional than men, and so conventional wisdom would suggest that female have a, more extreme responses to advertising with emotional content.”(2005, Fisher) according to Fisher women and men tend to respond the same way in a certain extent of emotional intensity in an advert that contain emotions such as anger, depression, guilt and fear.

Compulsive purchasing however occur more to women than men. The term “compulsive purchasing is described as destructive psychologically and financially, but provides temporarily an escape from sadness, tension or anxiety”. (1999, Elizabeth & Barbra) Where impulse purchase derives from a ‘High' emotional state, the compulsive purchasing generally tries to improve a ‘low or down' emotional state.

Compulsive purchasing is also associated with other negative behavioral traits such as kleptomania, alcoholism, eating disorders and substance abuse. Compulsive purchasing behavior stems from a low self-esteem.

Consumers who have this probleme, compulsive purchasing behavior, “has a strong and emotional component—elatedly high when it was occurring, depressingly low once one came to one's senses.”(1999, Elizabeth & Barbra)


Using hypothetical scenarios, there was a study done and it founded that found that a positive/ negative mood did not have any effect on reported shopping intentions directly, but did act through involvement level (high/ low) to influence shopping intentions. Using mood also as a dependent variable,

We will propose that consumers who have positive emotional states they believe to be durable will be willing to take more emotional risks. Conversely, those consumers who believe themselves to already be in substantial emotional jeopardy, i.e., are teetering on the edge of depression, will make choices aimed at reducing emotional risks.



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