What are some of the effects advertising can have on the emotions?

By: Olivia Burtrand

Without consumers there would be no advertising. As advertising professionals we must ask ourselves, “how does our work affect those who consume our product?” Which brings us to the big question of, “what are some of the effects advertising can have on emotions?” Over time, research has proven that emotions are a large factor in how consumers choose which products to purchase. Consumption is a coping mechanism for many when it comes to managing emotions. This makes being an advertising professional an ethical practice. It is important to consider those who our work is affecting. In fact, “prior research has demonstrated that advertising has the ability to elicit emotional responses from the consumer, and subsequently, emotion regulation propensities of individuals may be triggered” (Kemp, YEAR).

Studies show that products such as food, tobacco, and alcohol are all triggers for many consumers across the country. “Candy is often used as a reward for appropriate behavior in childhood, as well as a gift or positive “message” among adults for events such as Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, and birthdays” (Mizerski & White, YEAR). To most, this seems normal, however to others this can be a factor that plays into issues such as eating disorders and food-based anxiety. When advertisers use emotions to appeal to their audience they build a bond between negative and positive emotions which ties the consumer to the brand or product.

Luckily for advertising professionals across the world, research shows that the good work does outweigh the bad. Positive emotional responses from advertisements are shown to be tied to happy and positive advertisements. “Brands want to be associated with smiling, laughing, happy customers, and positivity has been shown to increase sharing and engagement” (Daume & Hüttl-Maack, YEAR). Studies have shown that emotional articles are shared more often. It also revealed that positive posts are shared more often than negative posts. Cute animal posts are the most shared, closely followed by the “Open Happiness” to “Taste the Feeling,” advertisement by Coca-Cola. This is because people are more likely to feel inclined to share posts what they think will make others feel the same happiness that the advertisement gave them. As human beings, people strive to please others which is why positive and happy advertising is so important. It is also why negative and manipulative advertising should be avoided.


Mizerski, R. W., & White, J. D. (1986). Understanding and using emotions in advertising. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 3(4), pp. 57 – 69. 

Elyria Kemp, My Bui & Sindy Chapa (2012) The role of advertising in consumer emotion management, International Journal of Advertising, 31:2, 339-353, DOI: 10.2501/IJA-31-2-339-353. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2501/IJA-31-2-339-353

Jana Daume & Verena Hüttl-Maack (2020) Curiosity-inducing advertising: how positive emotions and expectations drive the effect of curiosity on consumer evaluations of products, International Journal of Advertising, 39:2, 307-328, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02650487.2019.1633163

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