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Emotional Targeting Advertising

Three, Cancer Research UK and Havas are using software to produce emotional content


By Seb Joseph, News editor

February 15, 2016 | 3 min read

Three, Cancer Research UK and Havas are among a flurry of advertisers and agencies using a new software platform to tailor content based on its emotional intent.

Advertisers have long tried to read consumers’ emotions in order to move them to act. However, the increasing importance of measurement has meant technology is being relied upon more and more to sharpen their understanding of peoples' emotions when interacting with a brand. It’s a trend that’s birthed an industry in itself, one that data analytics firm Adoreboard’s Toneapi system hopes to exploit by getting advertisers to join the likes of Three, Cancer Research UK and Havas in adopting its content analysis software platform.

The software scores any content for emotional intent and then offers recommendations to optimise it in real-time, meaning that brands can understand the link between the emotions shown in their communications to actions such as click through rates or email responses.

Mathematical algorithms have been devised to identify over 20 emotions expressed in content so that feelings such as love, hate and surprise can be compared and contrasted to other work. It’s being sold as a tool that’s capable of understanding human emotion in any content so that marketers can tailor their communications to better fit with their emotional states.

Mark Thomson head of data at Havas Helia said: “Emotions plays an increasingly important role in understanding customer preferences enabling brands to create content, which aligns more closely with these. The outcome of which is to create messaging which is more accurate or leads to impactful communication that people respond to in a more empathic way.”

The view of content marketing is maturing across the industry but while advertisers are pumping more resources into content that creation, there’s an acceptance that there’s still work to do to test ways to personalise and optimise those posts at scale. It’s why companies like MediaCom, OgilvyOne UK and Mindshare are bolstering how they read peoples’ emotions through either more robust research schemes or their own proprietary technology.

Toneapi, which is now available as a public beta, has a starting price for agencies at $25,000 per year. It also comes with a thesaurus, which advises the user on how to optimise content for different types of emotion.

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