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Advertising, Emotions in

Tom Reichert


Emotions are fundamental to the human experience, so it is not surprising that advertisers employ emotional appeals to evoke specific feelings in consumers. Today's commercials, print ads, and Internet interstitials generate a range of emotional reactions from humor and elation to shame and disgust, from arousal and fear to sorrow and pity (→  Excitation and Arousal ). Emotions serve several roles in →  advertising. An important function of emotional stimuli is to attract viewers by capturing their →  attention. Advertisers only have a few moments to hook viewers before they switch channels, turn the page, or scroll down a website, and emotional information is particularly adroit at getting noticed (→  Exposure to Communication Content ). Once advertisers have that attention, feelings are used to associate a product or service with a particular emotion. Often advertisers simply use narratives to entertain consumers with the intention that consumers will return the favor with a purchase. Aristotle identified “pathos” as emotion-based argument designed to play upon the audience's fears and desires. Advertising is a paid form of persuasive communication – compact 30-second arguments – conveyed through the media by an identified sponsor (→  Persuasion ). Marketers use advertising to create awareness, to inform, and to position their goods and services as they attempt to convince consumers ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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