The Human Connection: Is Emotional Storytelling the Future?

Prefer audio? Listen to the transcript.

Many people argue that experiencing emotions is what make humans “human”.

As we enter an age where we are being increasingly bombarded by advertising material 24/7, industry experts believe that the best way to stand it out in a saturated market is to…

make the audience feel.

Example: Toyota “Jessica’s Long Story’ Commercial, via YouTube.

Since the earliest forms of human communication we have told stories. Cave paintings, hieroglyphics, radio, TV, the internet, all ways we have and continue to tell our stories.

More than often, forming an emotional connection to a story is going to make it much more memorable to you. Emotional storytelling stimulates your brain and if done well leads you to make associations between the feeling and the brand.

11 Emotional Advertising Examples Most Used by Brands
Example: Nike ‘Dream Crazy’ campaign. Image credit: (Irina Weber, 2018).


Ivana Vnučec (n.d.) explains the concepts of ‘arousal’ and ‘valence’ as being the two foundations of including emotions in advertising.

Arousal = the intensity of the emotion.

Valence = the positive/ negative character of the emotion.

The following visual identifies some of the key emotions used in advertising and organises them in the context of arousal and valence.

Image credit: ( Ivana Vnučec, n.d.)

Many brands have already begun to capitalise of the effectiveness of emotional storytelling/ branding.

Check out another example of emotional storytelling in the video below.

Jacob Cass (2020) predicts a future of more creative and authentic stories within the marketing sphere. Cass believes that it is essential to human nature for storytelling to exist.

FuturesCone-CDB
Image credit: (Joseph Voros, 2014)

Using the Futures Cone (a tool used to understand the probability of a future), the likelihood of emotional storytelling becoming the forefront of marketing activities seems to be a projected and probable future reality.

Seeing as brands are already implementing emotional storytelling into their marketing activities and succeeding, it seems to be a pretty safe bet that over the next 5 years emotional storytelling is going to become one of the most important aspects of advertising.

What do you think? Do you think audiences will eventually tire of emotional advertising? Is this just a trend that will die out?

Let me know in the comments!

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