Emotional Advertising Appeals

Sometimes when you see something beautiful, you just have to share it.

Just in case you were wondering, the total watch time on this video is over 58 years.

This commercial shows us a couple valuable lessons.

#1 – Attention comes before intention

The advertiser’s intention is to raise awareness for their brand.

However, if MetLife doesn’t first capture our attention, they can never hold it.

If you took the MetLife mention at the end of this ad and placed it at the beginning, the ad would become far less effective. Attention comes before your intention.

#2 – The power of story

You watch the commercial because you get to see a story unfolding. You peer into the lives of the characters and you experience the emotions that they are feeling.

Story is a powerful communication medium that can help grab and hold attention.

#3 – Empathy

This piece is largely built around empathy.

You feel for the father and what he sacrifices to make his daughter happy.

When we experience empathy* for others (real or fictional), our brain experiences the release of oxytocin.

Bonding and trust-building are two other emotional responses common with the release of oxytocin.**

It seems counterintuitive, but in order to get people to feel a bond and build trust with their brand, MetLife shares a sad story.

The underlying theme to all of this:

Sometimes you have to take the long way to get where you’re going.

It would be easier to tell people MetLife is the best in a 30 second ad filled with facts and stats.

Instead, they take the long way to engage you on a deeper level and feel a certain way about their brand.

Take your marketing from predictable to powerful with these three steps.


*Resources on empathy

**Notes on oxytocin