Factual charity adverts stimulate strong emotional reactions
We have all become accustomed to emotive charity advertisements. However, recent research by Emotional Logic indicates factual adverts may stimulate the same if not higher emotional reactions in potential supporters than emotive messages.
The explorative study, conducted as part of a company dissertation for Newcastle University, tested three TV advertisements of different cancer charities. One advert had a factual tone of voice, one a need based emotive approach and the third used a light-hearted expression.
Emotional Logic’s innovative advertising analysis tool measures emotional reactions to creative executions consciously via self-completion questionnaires as well as subconsciously via biosensors that detect emotional reactions.
The study found that the factual advertisement generated the strongest emotional reaction – both on a conscious and subconscious level and also demonstrated the highest propensity to donate. This means in order to generate an emotional reaction; an advert does not have to use an emotive tone of voice – the right factual message (based on an understanding of audience motivations) can be just as successful in generating powerful feelings.
It is possible that this strength of feeling is due to the primary nature of the emotions felt – rather than being told how to feel (by the tone of voice of the advert) supporters feel the emotions first hand as a direct reaction to processing the facts.
The research also found the light-hearted approach had the lowest emotional impact and the lowest propensity to donate – indicating that use of humour may not be the most effective route for charities.
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