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Strong emotional connections create lasting results in advertising


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January 4, 2018 | 5 min read

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At the heart of all great advertising, regardless of the channel or platform, is relevance, emotions, and compelling creative execution. Audiences need to be engaged in a meaningful way for ads to be truly effective.


Strong emotional connections create lasting results in advertising

In a mobile-first era, if the audience is not engaged with a heightened multi-sensory experience then we are not exploring the true potential of mobile to inspire and influence the purchase cycle early on when the consumer is most likely to bond with the brand.

This starts with discovering and harnessing the way we’re conditioned as humans to accept and explore new experiences. For mobile marketers, understanding what makes your audience emote at a deep level will pay high dividends to those who take the time to create evocative brand content that triggers deep emotion and attachment at the most elemental and experiential level.

Understanding the sensory experience

The great challenge facing marketers in our overloaded, over-stimulated, multitasking world is how to influence a brain that has already been formed and to activate the level of engagement that is required to make an impact.

At the base level, new experiences increase the brain’s motivation to generate context for processing. High level of arousal in an unknown situation can generate a “want” feeling, whereas a low arousal level, which occurs when the users experience an already existing pattern, will create a feeling of familiarity. These brain conditions, “want” and “familiar” are the ideal states of mind for a receptive advertising audience.

In the modern advertising ecosystem, the human brain has developed some complex recognition patterns that marketers must get past to influence their audience with a new experience and redirect their future decisions. Understanding neural and biometric responses to an ad can help paint a clear picture of the audience’s emotional state to drive brand recall and desirability.

Leveraging haptics to involve audiences and impact their decision making

Describing a brand’s capabilities in just words and adjectives keeps the experience at a surface level, whereas touch-powered advertising can engage the consumer on a tactile, sensory level for stronger emotional engagement that impacts the decision-making process.

To get a sense of how well users respond to haptic, the user research team at Immersion continues to conduct studies to measure self-reporting, neurological, and biometric responses across a variety of different techniques with haptic design, content types, and platforms.

The results of our studies show that haptics elevate the level of excitement when tightly integrated with other elements of the ad experience, visual and audio, to highlight the positive actions, such as driving a fast car. Our users reported a higher level of motivation and arousal when their interaction was primed with a pre-roll screen haptic bumper.

Designing haptics is an art that requires constant consideration of the audience to engage them on the deepest emotional level. When designed in the right amount and proper place, haptics can increase purchase intent over 67% compared to standard ads.

Stronger emotions have a halo effect on what people think about a brand

A rigorous user study conducted by Immersion, IPG Media Lab, and Magna measured the impact of touch-enabled ads among several industries, automotive, hospitality, and food & beverage, and concluded that applying haptic technology elicits a strong emotional response, such as increased level of happiness and excitement in users.

At its core, the study found that engaging the sense of touch drives a 62% increase in feelings of connection with the advertised brand, and leads to a 50% lift in brand favorability.

The trend towards using multiple senses to connect emotionally with the audience is growing among advertisers, not only because touch is a more personal and direct way to engage the audience, but because it results in heightened visual and audio experiences that can influence the intentions beneath the surface layer.

This has been demonstrated both with market level studies and neuro/biometric studies. Immersion’s TouchSense Ads bring touch to mobile advertisers by providing advertisers with the ability to incorporate haptics into their campaigns as well as expert per-vertical design guidance to realize the value of touch-enhanced advertising.

Sanya Attari, manager of UX research, Immersion


Twitter: @HapticsDev

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