What is Emotional Marketing


Table of Contents

What should you watch out for when using emotional campaigns?

How does emotional conditioning come about?

Create emotional customer loyalty through experiences


On April 14, 2019 the time had finally come - the eighth and final season of the hit series “Game of Thrones” (GoT), long awaited by fans, started in the USA and a day later in Germany. The fans are looking forward to the series finale and are excited to see how the fight against the White Walkers will end and who will secure their place on the Iron Throne - the anticipation of the fans is celebrated like an upcoming soccer World Cup!

Of course, this emotional event also offers a wide range of advertising opportunities and many well-known companies such as Sky, Oreo and Johnnie Walker do not miss this. In order to anchor itself as a brand in the minds of consumers in the long term and to differentiate itself from competitors, communication should take place on an emotional level - this is where it plays Emotional branding an important role!

The Oreo brand in particular shows how with an impressive re-enactment of the well-known GoT intro with around 3000 Oreo biscuits emotional marketing campaigns function. In addition to the visual representation, the well-known soundtrack of the opening credits gives fans goose bumps and feelings associated with the series. The combination of visual and auditory connection of the known creates emotions, which can be called the supreme discipline in marketing.


What should you watch out for when using emotional campaigns?

The upcoming series finale can be seen as a kind of hype event, as it addresses a very large target group and even non-die-hard GoT fans are familiar with the intro and can make a connection. Major events like this one are ideal for marketing campaigns, since an open and attractive environment is created for the respective topic. The GoT series finale is currently on everyone's lips and the social networks are almost overflowing with viral content on this topic. The existing awareness and the topicality affect the campaign and increase the Virality this. In addition to the rapid dissemination of information, the Brand fit an important part of a successful marketing campaign. The target group of the campaign should match the target group of the brand. And if we're being honest, then OREO biscuits are a good source of nourishment for the nerves at the presumably exciting GoT series finale! (:

In addition, the question arises how the campaign will affect the Brand image affects. There are three main methods of creating an emotionalisation of the brand image:

  • Creation of a brand personality
  • Building relationships with a brand personality
  • Linking the brand with experiences

This link with brand experiences can be achieved through incentives, among other things. By giving customers experiences that match the campaign and associating positive associations with the brand. However, only positive associations contribute to the creation of a strong, positively charged brand image. This is of great importance in order to be able to show sympathy to a brand. In order to achieve these positive associations with the potential target group, there are a number of widespread means of using emotional branding, such as addressing them through imagery, storytelling, music and interaction elements. Feelings are best triggered when there is a happy ending and, above all, a lot of authenticity. However, it should be noted here that a consistent brand presence at all brand touch points is of great importance!

When we talk about emotional marketing, one or the other will remember the Edeka Christmas advertisement broadcast in 2015. In this spot, the exact meaning of family togetherness at Christmas is a major theme and triggered an emotionally touched reaction from many viewers. This advertising is still hotly debated today, mainly in a positive as well as a negative sense.


How does emotional conditioning come about?

In order to be able to use the effect of emotional branding in a positive way, there is a very interesting concept in marketing: Emotional conditioning. The aim of this principle is to emotionally charge a brand in order to generate a high reach and to convince more customers of the brand and ultimately to win them over as long-term buyers. Emotional conditioning is a useful and widely used tool in marketing that works very well, especially in conjunction with key stimuli.

This phenomenon can be illustrated using the example of a situation between two main characters from the well-known sitcom "Big Bang Theory". In this case, Sheldon conditions Penny for what he thinks is good behavior. Penny's habits get on Sheldon's nerves so much in this episode that he secretly wants to train her to behave better. He does this by offering Penny chocolate as a reward for good behavior. For example, Penny leaves the room when a friend calls because Sheldon is already raising his eyebrows and would like to continue watching his film in peace. As a reward for this reaction on her part, he offers her chocolates.


This conditioning with regard to behavior can be transferred to brands and the associated emotions in customers. A brand is charged with emotions by repeatedly presenting them with a specific emotional stimulus at the various brand touch points. These emotions are thus transferred to the brand and the associated brand image in the long term.

There are some successful examples of emotional conditioning in advertising. The Dove brand has been presenting “real” women with its campaigns like “True Beauty” for several years. No models are shown in the campaigns, but women from everyday life with a moving story. Dove would like to bring the beauty of every single woman to the fore and conditions this emotional topic with the customers over the years.

Emotionalising the target group and existing customers by means of creative and elaborate campaigns in the style of the brands presented, OREO and Dove, naturally causes high costs. Medium-sized companies or marketers, in particular, are often unable to raise the appropriate budgets. The good news, however, is that corresponding emotions and lasting anchoring with consumers can be realized with small steps and means. Optionally, inexpensive and easy to implement Incentives such as travel vouchers, yoga vouchers etc.


Create emotional brand loyalty through experiences

Emotional marketing can be used in many areas. Not only moving images on TV or social media can charge a brand emotionally. Experiences and gifts that the customer associates with the brand are particularly suitable for this.

BONAGO leads the way and supports companies in their strategy of customer incentives through individual consumer promotions. The emotional charge of the brand, which is related to the experience given, has a positive effect on the long-term customer relationship.

The current pandemic-related situation allows experiences only to a limited extent, but it can be assumed that a “return to the new normal” will be possible in the next few months. From this point on, people are hungry for experiences and companies can use this fact to their advantage. In addition, online experiences are now also accepted by the population.

An example of a great brand experience would be an amusement park voucher. Such an eventful excursion evokes feelings of emotional happiness in the end customer and creates an associated link or emotional bond with the brand. Experiences and gifts help ensure that the brand remains anchored in customers' memories for a very long time.


Author: Sebastian This
Sebastian has been part of BONAGO since 2013 - as a specialist in editorial work in the field of marketing. His core areas include new customer acquisition, customer loyalty and consumer promotions. As a marketing enthusiast, he is in constant contact with colleagues in the industry, mostly at trade fairs such as dmexco or on marketing forums, and is always on the lookout for the latest trends. He can hardly hold back his enthusiasm for any marketing tools and incentives, so that he has already persuaded one or the other colleague to redeem his favorite incentive - the photo shoot voucher - with him.