Emotional Or Informational Advertising?

According to an article on uwnews.org, researchers from three [state of] Washington universities found that:

Consumers who are skeptical about the truth of advertising claims are more responsive to emotionally appealing ads than ones peppered with information.”

Emotional ads were characterized as “providing an emotional experience that is relevant to the use of the brand; informational ads predominantly provide clear brand data.”

Although these findings might not apply to all products, the research does have important implications for financial services marketers.

Today’s financial services consumers are skeptical. But in financial firms’ zeal to make an emotional connection with consumers through their ads, many have failed to meet one of the stipulations of the research study: Relevance.

Financial services firms seem to be falling over each these days, promising to help consumers “achieve [reach, fullfill] their dreams.” But this emotional plea falls short of being an “experience relevant to the use of the brand.”

Rather than asking “what emotional connection can we make through our advertising?”, financial firms need to understand “what emotional connection are we good at making today?”

They would find that emotional connections vary by customer. Some make an emotional connection based on the interpersonal relationships they have with the firm, some become attached because of the objective guidance and advice they receive, while others are driven by the convenience and operational effectiveness they experience.

Few consumers (and I’m being generous), when asked about their bank or brokerage, would say “they helped me achieve my dreams.”

Back to the ad storyboard, financial services firms.

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