The Power of Emotion in Advertising: A Digital Marketer’s Guide to Evoking Consumer Response

Understanding the DAIVID Field Guide to Emotions in Advertising and its Impact on Branding and Sales

Emotions have always played a crucial role in advertising, with marketers striving to elicit powerful responses from consumers. However, until recently, there was no clear codification of emotions in advertising, making it challenging to communicate and replicate successful emotional campaigns. Enter the DAIVID Field Guide to Emotions in Advertising, a comprehensive resource that categorizes 39 emotions into six distinct “emotional cohorts.” This guide, developed through research conducted at renowned institutions, offers digital marketers a common language to tap into the emotional landscape and create impactful campaigns. In this article, we explore the 39 emotions outlined in the field guide and examine real-life examples of how these emotions have influenced branding and sales.

Empathy: The Cohort of Connection and Understanding
Empathy is a powerful emotion that fosters a sense of connection and understanding between brands and consumers. Within the Empathy cohort, digital marketers can leverage emotions such as admiration, calmness, gratitude, hope, and trust to create campaigns that resonate deeply with their target audience. For instance, Mondelēz India’s “Not Just a Cadbury” campaign employed empathy at scale, generating thousands of AI-generated ads tailored to specific pin codes. This hyper-localized approach resulted in a significant boost in sales and business growth for retailers featured in the ads.

Approach: Inspiring Curiosity and Engagement
The Approach cohort encompasses emotions that inspire curiosity, engagement, and aesthetic appreciation. Adoration, amusement, inspiration, and nostalgia are just a few of the emotions digital marketers can tap into to create compelling campaigns. One notable example is the UAE’s “A Winter Through My Eyes” video, which tells the story of a visually impaired girl experiencing the country’s tourist attractions. This inspiring video generated millions of views and contributed to a surge in hotel revenues and domestic tourism.

Positive Adrenaline: Eliciting Awe and Excitement
Positive Adrenaline emotions, such as awe, excitement, sexual desire, and surprise, can create a sense of wonder and thrill among consumers. Emirates Airlines successfully harnessed these emotions in their “See you at Dubai Expo” and “We did it again” videos. These captivating videos, showcasing the airline’s involvement in the Dubai Expo, generated millions of views and engagements. The campaign coincided with a significant increase in revenue and customer demand, suggesting a correlation between the emotional impact of the videos and branding success.

Negative Adrenaline, Primal Urges, and Rejection: Proceed with Caution
While negative emotions like fear, anger, and disgust can evoke strong reactions, digital marketers should approach them with caution. The field guide advises brands to leave consumers with a positive emotion, as optimism is preferred despite the challenging global landscape. Additionally, negative emotions can lead to a dark path, as Yoda famously stated. However, there may be niche cases where negative emotions can be effectively employed, such as in horror movie promotions or campaigns targeting specific audiences seeking a particular emotional experience.


The DAIVID Field Guide to Emotions in Advertising provides digital marketers with a comprehensive palette of 39 emotions to evoke in their campaigns. By understanding and strategically harnessing these emotions, marketers can create impactful and resonant advertising that influences branding and sales. From empathy and approach to positive adrenaline and even negative emotions, each emotional cohort offers unique opportunities for brands to connect with their target audience. However, it is essential to exercise caution and prioritize leaving consumers with a positive emotion. By mastering the art of emotional storytelling, digital marketers can unlock the full potential of advertising and create lasting brand connections.






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