Free Essay Sample «The Use of Emotions in Political, Commercial, and Public Health Advertising»

«The Use of Emotions in Political, Commercial, and Public Health Advertising»


The ability to trigger emotions through the created message helps to attract attention to the advertisement. Moreover, strategically aligning the right emotions with the product or service assists in persuasion and remembrance of the advert. One of the great emotions used to attain the maximum notice is the creation of fear among the audience. Several advertising firms embrace fright and anxiety to instill intimidation to the target audience. However, more adverts adopt the use of diverse emotions to draw attention depending on the message they carry. This paper will describe the essence and strategies of emotions used in such types of advertising as political, commercial, and public health.

Tones Used, Emotions Evoked, and Behaviors Encouraged Through Advertising

Depending on the nature of the product or service as well as on the target market of an advertisement, the tones and emotions evoked vary. In the sections below a description of the characteristics applied in the public health, political and commercial ads will be discussed.

Public Health Advertising

Most of the health ads are represented using texts and graphics for a better translation. In fact, the advert can be either aimed at introducing new products and services issuing a warning or reminding people of the health concerns. The advert description is strategically aligned with the purpose aimed. For example, an alert advert will be explained in a tone or visuals that will inculcate fear in the audience. Practically, a vivid demonstration of the negative life-endangering consequences of risk behavior motivates the target audience to reduce it and adopt a safer way of life (Brader, 2007). Nevertheless, advertisements are purposed to market a new medical product or institute and, hence, confidence will be instilled in people through the tone used. Here the sound will be implemented to convince the audience and earn their trust. Therefore, the public health can either be vibrant, confident, compassionate, amiable or consoling and authoritative depending on the message. What is more, a message tone may vary due to other changing factors such as the medium of advertising, target market, and nature of the message. The advertisements are aimed at arousing emotions such as discouragement, fear, guilt, confidence, and interest.

Political Advertising

Nonetheless, in politics the advertisements are purposed to win people's trust or to deliver the information on changes and progress. Most of these advertisements information are exaggerated or overrated. For instance, during political campaigns advertising uses a convincing tone to win the credence and support of the public.

Substantially, pathos, a sense of appealing to the emotions of the public, is gained by the use of the artistic language. It is geared towards convincing the targeted audience that the candidate is the best through giving the promises that are attached to the livelihoods of the targeted individuals assuring them of a better future (Ruiter, 2014). The ads are purposed to raise awareness, convince, or persuade and are affiliated with the arousing of emotions such as delight, optimism, and confidence. Furthermore, it can awaken negative feelings like doubting the opponents of the speaker.

Commercial Advertising

Commercial advertising uses an enticing, loud, and confident tone persuading the customer to buy the brand. Ideally, the message aims at luring the customers into consuming the products and services to increase the sales as well as broaden the market for the brand. Besides, the ad can be targeted at introducing or reminding the clients about its existence (Ruiter, 2014). Competitively, the message is packaged to communicate that almost everyone is using the brand. As a result, attempts of evading the products or services mean being behind time and season. This attribute attracts majority into consuming the product (Laird, 2007). Notably, in order to ensure that the customers are loyal to the brand, the messages are packaged in a simple manner and they are repetitively communicated. The advertisements are geared to create interest, curiosity, confidentiality, and clear certainty in the products or services. Since one great emotion that is instilled in the audience is the fear of being excluded, an analysis of the situation where fear is fostered will be necessary.

Theoretical Explanation Why Fear Is Highly Effective

Fear arousal in strong campaigns embraces the use of the Protection Motivation Theory to enhance the behavioral change. This theory effectively encompasses the use of biased information to convince the public domain into taking the initiative that favors the advertisement in question. Actually, many advertisers will exaggerate the information concerning their products and ideologies to suit their targets. The false information ranges from texts, sounds, graphics, and testimonials that create tension and fear to the target hence leaving them with no option but embracing the idea implemented by the advertising agencies.

Risks of forfeiting the proposed plan are repetitively expounded as a constant reminder of the effects of negligence. The alarm raised to the public over an extended period of time forms the basis of their minds and thoughts. Significantly, most tend to be cautious about the issue in question and will always strive to evade engaging in the risk behavior. For example, constant reminders about HIV/AIDS make vulnerable citizens more vigilant. Consequently, they are most likely to use the protective measures (Brader, 2007). Additionally, specific conditions favor the creation and sustainability of fear in human perception and judgment.

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Social Conditions that Foster Fearfulness

Social conditions such as such as tension, anxiety, frustrations, sadness, and anger evoke strong emotions that encourage the target audience to act empathically towards the given situation. Stronger emotions create a strong response. Psychologically, these emotions serve as positive motivators enhancing the decisions that positively affect certain behaviors.

Anxiety creates a state of expectancy which mounts into worries that circumstantially elevate into the tension that causes less belief in personal abilities. Thereby, one is exposed to the risks of following whatever appears to satisfy the present condition. The excessive anxiety affects the personal view of problems making one seek any alternative present due to the fear of losing the anticipated outcome (Ruiter, 2014).

Frustrations turn one’s state into emotionally unstable regarding making the sound decisions. Under those circumstances, adverse effects arise causing driving motivation that creates a potential cognitive appraisal which emanates into fear. However, these conditions are influenced by the individual prejudgment and experience with the product or services rendered in the various ads.

Individual Perceptions and Experiences Perpetuate Fearfulness

Fear can be perpetuated by the following unique characteristics:

Cognitive Response

Individual’s ability to sustain and understand the delivered message affects how one would react in response to the current issue. Thus, it suggests that people with high cognitive dissonance are most likely to respond more positively to the threatening situations in comparison to those with a small discrepancy.


Psychological processes are influenced by the ability to sustain the emotions generated by the perceived message or the stressing factor. Individual attributes regarding attitude and character are hard to change (Laird, 2007). Naturally, some people are born egocentric and are not quickly convicted and, therefore, are rigid to change their perceptions if not convinced. Namely, the negative emotions reinforce the process of taking charge of the internal control of strengthening, self-monitoring, attitude towards the advertisement, source credibility, sensory preferences as well as media and brand involvement. These variables moderate the emotional appeal that foster empathy circles within an individual.

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Past Experiences

The choice of the media used to run the advertisement and the brand in question plays a central role in convincing the target audience. This impact occurs due to the individual’s experiences form the basis of brand evaluation. For instance, if the past experiences are positive, the person will favor the brand and vice versa (Brader, 2007).

Self-Monitoring Ability

Self-monitoring is the capacity to control one’s emotions. Individuals with a higher ability to restraint their emotions are not easily influenced by the advertising message. They concentrate on the content and use a strong logical and intellectual ability to make a rational judgment and evaluate situations or phenomena before making a conclusion. Thereupon, to win their consent, the source and the message should be credible and authenticated (Bagozzi & Moore, 1994).


Concisely, most advertising firms embrace the use of fear arousal to persuade the target audience into buying their ideas and recommendations in order to evoke the response effectiveness and behavioral change interventions attached to the emotions. Ideally, the two models such as the Protection Motivation Theory and the extended parallel process model help them achieve these intended objective of passing their messages to the audiences. For that reason, through the use of fear appeals act most of the advertising agencies such as commercial industries, public health domain, and political spheres increasing their efficiency. Therefore, it is not the best strategy due to the limitation regarding authenticity, knowledge capacity, and, markedly, it is practically counterproductive, especially concerning effects of fear arousal and extensive knowledge base needed to convince an individual for behavioral change. Fear has been utilized to align the human emotions with the nature of information in order to ascertain the right responsiveness of the adverts created. The alignment of the ads' concept has enabled the achievement of a psychological win over the target audience.



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