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Powerfully emotional advertising

The IPA and Thinkbox have produced a short film on the power of emotion in ad campaigns; highlighting 2012 Effectiveness Awards winners such as John Lewis, British Gas, Nikon and Shangri La and how they have tapped into the need-states of the consumer to create effective campaigns.


Featuring Marie Oldham, Chief Strategy Officer, Havas Media and 2012 Convenor of Judges, the film also takes learnings from the IPA Databank, which looks at the last 30 years of Effectiveness Awards papers, to show the effectiveness of emotional advertising.

The film shows, for example, how Adam&Eve DDB’s John Lewis campaign put the consumer first and demonstrated their understanding of the important things in people’s lives. CHI & Partners’ British Gas campaign, Oldham points out, is not an obviously emotional paper however it was a success because the ad didn’t take a rational approach. Nikon and JVM produced an award-winning campaign by tapping into the growing image culture, recognising the need of the consumer to capture the world in images.

Says Marie Oldham: “With these papers they’ve gone a bit further and tapped into the really deeper need-states that shape human beings.

“All the findings say that if you can tap into something deeper you might get a bigger effect, you’re more likely to get word of mouth and advocacy, and you’re more likely to get a longer term richer effect.

“One of the most significant findings is that consumers in the UK and lots of parts of the world have gone through significant changes from 2007/2008 and it has really undermined some of the beliefs that we held before then. The brands that are really succeeding are using research and using their understanding of their consumers to identify that, and to connect their brand to those changes and to the new values that consumers are focussing on.”


This analysis supports findings from the IPA’s recent study The long and the short of it written by Les Binet and Peter Field. The study found that emotional advertising is twice as efficient as rational, and delivers twice the profit.

Further information on the Effectiveness Awards, how to enter, top tips for writing a paper, and a free judge’s essay can be found at the IPA effectiveness hub, a treasure trove of industry learning and insights, where all the past effectiveness awards papers and case studies are collated and where the IPA posts its thought leadership on effective marketing strategies.

Last updated 25/09/2017

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