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Why Not for Profit Ads Should Use Happiness

Trends and Insight 132 Add to collection

Research from System1 reveals ads that emotionally engage consumers with happiness are more effective in building long-term brand growth

Why Not for Profit Ads Should Use Happiness

New data from effectiveness agency System1 Research has found that not for profit (NFP) ads that emotionally engage consumers with happiness are more effective in building long-term brand growth than those that use sadness.

Not for profit organisations tend to leverage sadness in their advertising, resulting in in-effective campaigns and short-term bursts in donations, rather than long-term growth. However, System1’s research has shown that there is no correlation between negative emotions towards NFPs and their market share.

NFP ads in the UK and US tend to score badly, with zero ads predicted to achieve 3% brand growth and over half predicted to achieve just 0.5% brand growth in the UK.

System1 worked in collaboration with SURF Survivors Fund, Rwanda, a charity working to rebuild the lives of and deliver justice to Rwandan genocide survivors, to find out how NFP ads can be more effective, analysing 8 SURF ads for the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. The method used for this purpose is the System1 Ad Ratings tool, which measures emotional response to every ad on TV in major categories to predict their likely effectiveness.

The results showed that the ads using negative emotions such as sadness achieved a lower star-rating and therefore a lower level of brand growth than ads that used happy and positive emotions. Ads that focused on individual stories of tragedy and the devastating impacts of the genocide - such as widowing and counselling - aroused sadness in the consumer and consequently failed to score above 3-Stars, meaning the potential for a maximum of just 1% brand growth.

However, the one ad that used happy emotions, drawing on hope for the future by looking at a local business success story, scored 4-Stars and achieved the potential for 2% brand growth. This was the only ad to surpass the UK TV norm for ads using happiness.

Will Goodhand, head of comms research at System1, said: “In general, emotional advertising campaigns tend to be more profitable in the long term, contributing to 43% of a campaign’s profit gains on average after more than three years. However, this positive impact can be only be seen when emotions are used correctly. By drawing on positive emotions which inspire hope in consumers, rather than negative ones, NFPs can begin to see the long-term impact of their campaigns on brand growth.”

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System1 Group PLC, Tue, 05 Nov 2019 11:54:46 GMT