Rational Vs Emotional Triggers in Online Marketing

Rational Vs Emotional Triggers in Online Marketing
09/02/2018 Wyze

Rational Vs. Emotional Triggers in Online Marketing – Which Approach is Better?

A mother and her son who is around 9 or 10 years old can be seen in an Ikea advertisement where the mother and the son go into a Ikea store where the son is able to choose pieces of furniture skillfully. What we see next is that they move on and purchase that furniture and the furniture is loaded into the truck and what follows is a young gentleman who tells his mother, “Mum, I am only moving around the corner.”

In an advertisement for Red Barn Furniture Outlet, a narrator is heard providing an insight to the wide range of products the company offers and the advantages that are associated with those products. What they are doing at the same time is that they are also displaying the pictures of these products on screen at the same time.


While these advertisements are completely different from each other in their respective approaches and the way they market the company’s products, they also aim to bring out varying emotions from the viewer.

The Ikea commercial intends to inspire an “aww-like” reaction from the audience. The ad very well projects a mother’s love for her son, while simultaneously Ikea products are being used to show that love.

What these ads do is that they leave the viewer feeling positive as the ending of the ad is so pleasing and emotionally enchanting that it brings a smile on the viewer’s face.

Now, if we look at the commercial of Red Barn Furniture Outlet, we see that it does not aim to bring out any emotion on the part of the viewer.

Like all other advertisements the company does want to inform the viewer regarding the company and about their products but the advertisements does not intend to create an emotional impact.

Rational vs. Emotional Triggers in Marketing

Both the commercials were marketed to the viewers using two different approaches. It is evident that The Red Barn Furniture Outlet tried to use a rational appeal in its commercial while the Ikea commercial tried to use an appeal which is more emotional.

When we see an advertisement which uses rational appeal, it intends to rationally communicate with the customer and describes the benefits of the product in an attempt to convince consumers to buy it. However, on the contrary when an advertisement uses emotional appeal it is actually targeting what is known as consumer’s “gut feeling”.


Experience shows that emotional appeal is much more successful than the rational appeal but still the majority of digital marketers are more inclined towards using the rational approach to promote their products.

It is observed that people usually buy based on their emotion and later justify based on facts why did they purchase a particular product. This explains a phenomenon that thinking follows feeling and not the other way around.

According to research, what is important for rational persuasion to work is an attempt by the audience to evaluate the information that is being given to them. In order to engage, it is necessary that the audience has a conscious mind and is motivated to process the information being given.

On the other hand, emotional persuasion is more dependent upon the subconscious mind of the audience which runs absolutely on what he call “auto-pilot” as far as the receiving, the processing and the evaluation of the information is concerned.

Decisions that are made subconsciously are majorly effected by one’s gut feeling and his or her instincts.

A research has pointed out that on an average, people are exposed to as much as 3,000 advertisements per day, this does not allow one’s conscious mind to process the information that these advertisement contain in a rational way.

As pointed out by neuroscientists, thinking as compared to less challenging tasks uses up 3 times more energy. 95% of the time the brain is on what is known as the idle mode when a person is at a non-thinking state.

Thus, as for the majority of the time people’s brains are in an idle state, they are more inclined towards emotional appeal.

In order for emotional appeal to be fruitful it is necessary that it should excite the expectation and the thought of the target audience in order to get their attention.

What are the effects of emotional triggers on sales?

A number of factors should be considered in order to ensure that emotional triggers are effective on your sales.

The target market’s age and their value systems are vital in this regard. It is also vital to have a complete understanding of the target audience’s values, emotions and needs.

What emotional appeal does to people is it touches their core and makes them recall your sales message later.

For example, there can be an advertisement where a car manufacturer targets parents and informs them that how the features in their car can ensure children’s safety. People associate emotional appeal of a product to positive emotions.

If a brand includes pictures of happy families in its advertisements, the brand will be perceived as being family friendly. This is one of the ways advertisements can be used to induce a certain perception of your brand in the market.

An excellent example can be that of the advertisement “Android: Furever”, which got viral soon after it was released. The advertisement did not show any text but what it did was it delivered the message of diversity powerfully.






Many researches show that the consumer behavior is highly influenced by advertisements.

It is important to realize that the more you associate your products with positive emotions the higher the chance that the market will prefer your product as compared to the competitors that are less known.


emotional appeal

Now that we have established the importance that emotional appeal holds in traditional marketing, there should be no difficulty in realizing that it can also be used in internet marketing.

You need to recognize the ways you can tap into the emotions of your target market and you should include these ways into your internet marketing strategy, especially in your content marketing.

It is important to realize that you only have as much as two seconds to capture the attention of your audience which means that first two sentences of your content hold immense importance.

What you actually need to do is that you need to grab the attention of your target audience with the first one or two sentences and pull them to the bottom of the page. It is important to make sure that you are able to keep your audience engaged throughout the remaining content and continue to feed their emotions.

In order to increase brand awareness you need to share information which is practical and build relationship simultaneously. What needs to follow is to find ways to engage your audience to the point that they will be willing to share the information that you have provided.

If your aim is to guide your audience towards purchasing the product, then you can use sales psychology in order to stimulate emotional responses that are needed to attain definite actions.

As an example, someone would want to purchase a product in order to get rid of the pain they are feeling.

Once you have grabbed the attention of the audience the next logical step to take is to constantly keep them engaged, good content does the trick here and good content must always include things that directly appeal to the people’s emotions.

According to various experts, all the content that goes viral always contains emotions that include positivity, shock, awe, fear, anger and anxiety.

It is important to remember that people are always willing to share the content that makes them feel entertained and makes them feel good.

Any content or text that contains facts or shocks people is more likely to be shared. People are most likely to share and comment on the things that make them feel angry and this will lead to more sharing and more comments.

What follows emotional attraction is a bit of logical thinking at the viewer’s end and thus what your content should logically contain after emotional appeal are the practical and factual aspects.

What you can do here is that you can shot a problem that your audience is going thorugh and show that how the product that you have can solve that particular problem.

Your target audience is more likely to make a purchase when you use clear and engaging language coupled with engaging media, what this does is it creates an inherent value in your product.


It should now be evident that triggering the emotions of your target audience is a good way to promote your products online.

This is a traditional marketing technique but it should also be adopted by online marketers as this is exactly how the consumers decide what should they buy and where should they buy.

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