Rational Vs. Emotional Approach in Advertising

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Whether to base a marketing communication or advertising campaign on rational logic or emotional appeal majorly affects various marketing decisions. While some market researchers believe that logical approach, i.e. rational appeal powerfully works in sending the message across; there are others who have proven how emotions appeal to people of all ages, and different genders in spite of the subject matter or product.

Why should you care about the rational or emotional appeal?

No one size fits all relates to advertising as well. At a certain level, both rational and emotional appeals are at work in advertising. However, one is dominant while the other is submissive, as even an emotional appeal requires logical reasoning and may need facts to base the campaign structure. On the other hand, if a rational appeal is at center, then these too ultimately provoke emotional reaction, as emotion plays a role in how viewer reacts to everything. The reaction further is personal as consumers have their own past experiences and thus bring their personal perceptions about products or brands.

The crux of the matter is the most effective advertisement campaigns use both emotional as well as rational appeals to persuade consumers.

Rational Appeal: What is said?

Emotional Appeal: How it is said?

Here are two examples of the most viral ads from the past which justify how marketers blend the emotional and rational part of the campaign.

Extra Gum:

The level of emotion in this ad is beyond expectations especially from a gum ad. The relation and the bond between a daughter and father is expressed in a beautiful and touching story. It captures real sentiments and emotions of how ‘sometimes the little things lasts forever’.


This commercial featuring ‘friendship’ where six men play game of wheelchair basketball, is another apt example that strikes the emotional chord of audience. Based on the rational approach the ad stimulates emotional reactions.

These successful campaigns reflect the saying that consumers make purchases with sentiments and justify the purchasing decision with rational information.

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