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  1. Burl says

    Great blog post! I stumbled upon it from a Tony Morgan twitter. I think I will have to make this a daily read blog!

  2. Fred H Schlegel says

    Some of the discussions I’ve gotten into on this topic seem to be driven around a decision makers belief that an emotional decision is inherently less reliable than a ‘rational’ one. The more critical a decision is the more the emotional component is pushed to the background. The danger is that by ignoring that emotional aspect as a decision maker can leave you making a decision without complete information – and as a marketer it leaves a tool that exists on the table. I’ve gotten some good thinking from this series of posts. Thank you.

  3. Scott Lovingood
    Twitter: scottlovingood

    People want to believe that they make rational decisions all the time. We much prefer to think that we are in control of our emotions and make logical decisions. They higher someone has advanced in the business world the more they believe that they are rational creatures.

    The problem with that belief – its wrong. It has been proven wrong many times. In Predictably Irrational we see many evidences of it. The Science of Influence also give many examples where something beyond our rational logical brain make the decision. I recently saw a study that simply speaking into the right ear would increase the likelihood of influencing the person.

    To truly be rational, we must look at the data and adjust our belief systems into alignment with it. No other method will allow us to maximize our success in life.

    Great article and look forward to more.

  4. Diana Daffner, Intimacy Retreats says

    Maybe people who are swayed by emotional appeal are also those who make more of the buying decisions? Maybe the rationally-oriented shop less, or take more time coming to a decision? Maybe a blended approach is best in situations like my own, where sales are dependent on the decisions of two people, not just one.

  5. Paul Conner says

    What’s important to realize is that unless you are a ‘Phineas Gage’ with an emotional dysfunction within the brain (see Damasio’s Descartes Error), emotional reactions (albeit of different intensities) are always tied to reason. So in essence there is no such thing as a strictly rational decision. Our emotions are naturally and constantly guiding our decisions and behavior. They are really part of the “rational” (i.e., thinking, reflecting) process, acting as information, and THE information that drives decisions. Advertisers should always understand what emotions are involved in the behavior they want to create and build experiential and cognitive triggers that activate the most powerful and relevant emotions for the particular product or service involved.

  6. Lex dePraxis says

    I begin to think whether we, human, progressively become ever more emotional being because we keep finding more and more data/analysis that we are emotional.


  7. Denise Lee Yohn
    Twitter: deniseleeyohn

    thank you for this great post, roger! i’m going to use this data/insights to convince b2b marketers to increase their emotional resonance

  8. Bill says

    While I am not disputing that emotions matter- the EXTENT to which emotional advertising works better than rational advertising is not necessarily supported by the presented “evidence”. C’mon- “% reporting a very large increase in profits” – give me a break! What does that mean? It means more people from large companies that could afford to spend a lot on advertising and hence create emotional ads (perhaps as the author admits at the foot of the article which are not even mentioning the brand because it is so well known) said their ads created more profits. Isn’t this a case of false attribution – ie it is not the emotional content of the ads that caused their success – but rather the very fact that either the underlying brands were inherently stronger to start with or that they spent more money on their ad campaigns anyway – and this is to name but two possible explanations for the result! There may be more less obvious ones. So as usual, market researchers need to THINK and stop taking the easy explanations as this article has clearly done.

  9. The Science of Emotion in Marketing » Crown ventures NY

    […] studies of successful advertising campaigns, campaigns with purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only rational content (and did a little better than those that mixed […]

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    […] effectively affect and influence users’ feelings toward a brand through an emotional appeal. Neuroscience Marketing briefly talks about an analysis conducted by the IPA which reports that when advertisements gain […]

  11. Ian says

    What about B2B marketing or face-to-face selling. Forresters show it’s more rational.

    1. Roger Dooley
      Twitter: rogerdooley

      Undoubtedly, there are rational elements in B2B. A product has to work for the intended application, and there may be cost constraints. But, B2B buyers are humans, at least for now. And often B2B products have similar specs and prices, which can leave the buyer open to choose the vendor based on softer criteria.

  12. Crischellyn says

    I am definitely going to browse through the entries here to check which ones to use for my graduate studies research.

  13. Susie M Stokes says

    This is an absorbing read, showing how our heart overrules our head in individual decisions! It also reminds me of this powerful quote from neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor:

    “We live in a world where we are taught from the start that we are thinking creatures that feel. The truth is, we are feeling creatures that think.”

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