There is increasing evidence and consensus that using emotion in advertising builds a brand and its business, especially in the long term. Emotion is also proven to drive advertising attention and memorability. However, opinions differ on whether emotion should be the sole focus or a balance struck between emotional and more rational motivating messages.


Emotion-based communications aim to evoke and appeal to human emotions to encourage brand preference, which will build the brand's business in the long term.

Key Insights

1. Emotion is the top creative strategy for effective communication

According to WARC’s 2019 Effective 100 - an annual ranking of campaigns based on their performance in effectiveness competitions from around the world - emotion was used by 59% of cases in their approach, considerably ahead of any other strategy. Emotion was a key creative driver among the awarded 2018 IPA Effectiveness papers: 55% of winning campaigns, including the Grand-Prix winner Audi, cited emotion as their main creative strategy. The effectiveness of emotion holds across different types of campaigns - 2018 winners of the WARC prizes for effective Use of Brand Purpose, Content Strategy and Social Strategy cited emotion and humour as the leading creative strategies.