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Emotion Becomes Data: Marking a New Era in Advertising

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Emotion is an unpredictable and powerful factor in our every day consuming habits. According to a Stanford study, it takes less than a second to make an impression on someone. When it comes to a product, consumers are equally driven by their emotions.

 Today, data gathered by apps can sharpen advertising tools. A company will update its advertising on a daily basis according to consumers’ emotions and past reactions.

They can even predict future needs. But do they improve the overall buying experience?  

Storytelling builds trust 

From Coca Cola’s Santa Claus to the matronly, Aunt Jemima, consumers like to relate emotionally to a brand. Solid storytelling creates a long-life relationship with customers. A behavioral study showed that when a person deems a brand “loyal,” there are 87% more chances that she/he will purchase more from that brand.

Moreover, the Harvard Review reports that consumers are 71% more likely to  forgive a company for a mistake if the emotional “experience” is strong.

The first company to understand this was, Google. Not surprisingly, it is the company that has the most data on humankind. In 2015, Google launched a video campaign on pets and animals called “Friends furever”. It was the most watched advertisement in the twenty years of Internet.

That same year, the third most popular video was Purina’s dog food commercial. Targeting urban hipsters, it was embedded on BuzzFeed’s video player. Different Purina ads would play, depending on the user’s history. Purina managed to adapt its language to different levels of clientele, while selling the same product – although targeting single working males. It was their most successful commercial.

According to experts, storing users’ history in order to tailor ads is the future of advertising. Nothing less.

Emotional branding

While twenty years ago advertising was a simple billboard picture or a page in a magazine, gathered data can now create tailored emotional ads for all sorts of consumers.

Augmented reality and virtual reality enhanced 2017’s advertising global revenue, as Forbes reports. And we reported last month, Zara is currently testing its clients’ data to implement AR across its stores.

However, the “physical” support might not only be the only way to reach the clientele. It is not only about how you feel – but where you feel. Location is playing a big role on the emotion studies. Local businesses should take advantage of their proximity to their customers to know their regulars’ habits and offer more adapted services.

Location, location, location

Out with your friends in downtown? Uber knew it before you even posted anything on Facebook, Instagram, or even Yelp. But what if Uber could connect to Facebook, Instagram, and all the other apps?

Data-sharing is also an easy way for e-commerce to sharpen targeted tools. For some, it can be a great way to connect emotion and promotion. For example, banks have partnered with several universities to offer discounts on loans and lesser fees if the school was located close to a branch. Banks also partner with Facebook and other social apps to track those life-long-to-be young customers.

With so much data, advertising can even go further and offer an incredibly deep level of information. It can become predictive. What happens when your local store knows beforehand what you what you will want in a few weeks?

Data enables predictive advertising

How surprising would it be to receive diaper discount vouchers before even becoming pregnant? That is what happened to lots of American women, according to the Drum.

Predictive advertising scans your loyalty cards and debit cards history. “Once they know you are taking vitamins supplement, they know you are trying to conceive”, reports the Drum.

For example, Walmart has a list of the 35 most popular products a pregnant-to-be woman should buy. Whenever a woman would buy several products from that list, Walmart would send pregnancy advertising.

In an era where you would like to keep your privacy and only share what is flattering, credit and debit cards say a lot too.

All in all, the only way to protect one’s data from emotional advertising would be go completely offscreen and stop buying with a debit card.