Feel Good Ads Resonate with Consumers

January 11th, 2021 by


According to a recent survey, feel good ads resonate with the public.

Direct mail copywriter Frank Johnson once said, get a cute child and a cute puppy and “you’ve got a winner there.”

It’s just a fact that consumers respond to ads that resonate with them. And it’s not just print or T.V. A recent survey by a Vancouver-based marketing performance management company indicates that the same is true of marketing emails.

Shoppers particularly like to see ads that reflect:

    • Inspiration — 42%
    • Joy — 40%
    • Love — 38%
    • Hope — 34%

According to the same study, many consumers will dismiss a brand if an ad causes:

    • Sadness — 7%
    • Fear — 8%
    • Anger — 8%
    • Annoyance — 6%

In line with these, shoppers voted these ads as having the biggest emotional impact on them:

    • Budweiser’s holiday puppy commercials — 28%
    • Google’s “Loretta” commercial (where a man asks Google Assistant to remember details about his late wife) — 25%
    • Nike’s social justice commercial for the Black Lives Matter movement — 24%

Good ads create a connection

Nowadays, it’s not just feel good ads that resonate with the public. An advertisement needs to be relatable or it won’t connect with consumers. So, it’s not just about that cute puppy picture.

What makes any ad bad is a lack of a connection. If the ad just toots a company’s horn and there’s no thought behind it, it won’t appeal to consumers.

An ad that resonates needs to be about the viewer or reader’s time. The more they learn, relate, or, at best, bond with the product, that’s what makes that ad responsive.  That’s why so many brands feature social responsibility.  These ads go beyond cute kids and puppies to help people feel good.

In fact, a recent USA Today poll revealed that 72% of people will actually pay more to use the services and products of a company they perceive to be ethical, sustainable and socially responsible.

These feel good ads resonate with me:

    • Budweiser – Their 2018 Super Bowl commercial which shows workers at a Budweiser plant making canned water instead of its “America” labeled beer cans. The ad shows footage of clear water instead of beer rushing through their pipes. It ends with a tractor-trailer trucking a load of canned water to a disaster zone, to the tune of “Stand By Me.”
    • Bombas socks – whose print ads really explain their mission.

Humor can also motivate

Think humor – another way to make people feel good. Humor appeals to consumers because it gives them a break from everyday life. In fact, consumers prefer ads that make them laugh. More than half (53%) say they remember and enjoy an ad if it is humorous.

In marketing, often the ads are inspiration or entertainment first. The selling becomes secondary.

In terms of making them laugh, shoppers said these feel good ads resonated with them:

    • Alexa losing her voice – where she is replaced by several celebrities, including Gordon Ramsey, Cardi B, Rebel Wilson, and Sir Anthony Hopkins.
    • Farmers Insurance ads with J.K. Simmons
    • The Accountant and VW with Paul Giamatti

Remember the Image

The truth is, you have to hook them to get their attention.  That’s why the image needs to really stand out and help tell the story.  A great image will help convey the emotion you need to make your ad a success.

That’s why the cute kid and the puppy work so well.