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Brands Are Using Emotional Arousal to Go Viral, Are You?

go viral with positive branding 

We all have seen videos, news stories and posts online of a public hero, not a political one. But, a rather normal person who faced difficulties thrown at him/her and created a revolution or impacted society. If not a dramatic or an inspirational story, we were still hooked on to the Hindi taglines of “Daag ache hain” or “Tedha hai par mera hai” at some point. 

Audience embraced quirky or catchy brand messages because they celebrated mistakes, suited misfits or just broke the norms set by society. But how did they do it? Brands did it by marrying a positive message (tagline) with their products. Thus, making people latch on to their taglines and products, unintentionally. 

People enjoyed and shared positive messages even if they were branded. 

So, do only positive emotions work? Nope! Any emotion that deeply connects with the audience goes viral. The key is to instigate emotional arousal. 

Emotions That Brands are Using to Go Viral

Some of the best emotions used in various brand campaigns helping companies go viral in 2022 are: 

  1. Amusement
  2. Interest
  3. Surprise
  4. Happiness
  5. Delight
  6. Pleasure
  7. Joy
  8. Hope
  9. Affection
  10. Excitement
  11. Instant Gratification
  12. Fear
  13. Trust
  14. Anger
  15. Belonging
  16. Guilt
  17. Values
  18. Leadership
  19. Pride
  20. Sadness

While brands used anger and sadness earlier in the day with changing times, virality factors have undergone a transformation too. Virality depends widely on how amused or positively pumped the viewer is rather than sad. 

viral marketing

Topical virality, too, has been impacted over the years. The audience no longer enjoys the same old messaging pattern of celebrating festivals or regular events. For instance, a wedding might be a ceremonies advertisement yet however, the shift in culture and openness to acceptance is celebrated more in the present. Furthermore, studies have recently shown that positive videos, stories etc., get shared more often than depressing sad ones. 

For instance, a study conducted on a subset of New York Times articles displayed similar results – Negative emotions didn’t yield vitality compared to positive, impactful stories. The emotions that pushed people to share content were curiosity, amazement, interest, astonishment and uncertainty. 

Following such interesting data-driven patterns, brands have changed their marketing plans and approaches accordingly. Educational content, nostalgia, positive videos etc., are some of the best types of content to go viral. 

Let’s look at some of the branding examples to gauge how brands are using emotional arousal to go viral. 

Best Brand Examples

As discussed above, impactful marketing with a positive storyline pumps viewers more than any other emotion. Driving marketing strategies on this, some of the best brand marketing examples we can take a lesson or two are: 

Google’s Get Back to What You Love campaign to get vaccinated showcased everything people missed out on and how normalcy was welcomed. A simple yet super impactful video creating a virtual to real world scenario drove emotions of struggle to victory. Thus, arousing a sense of winning. Ending it with a vaccination message added to the positive messaging to create an impact. 

Coca-Cola too has created happy campaigns time and again, triggering togetherness and affection. This can be among siblings, friends or even strangers exchanging kindness. No matter what relationship they establish, Coca Cola shows us how happy marketing and leaving a smile on their customers’ face is a smart brand move.

The above brand examples are a good starting point to build your positive brand story. 

How Can You Emotionally Arouse Your Audience for Virality?

To create emotionally arousing campaigns for your brand, start with: 

  1. Listing out your brand USPs 
  2. Identify how your product solves a bigger problem 
  3. Create stories around the problem 
  4. Show the impact your solution has
  5. Conclude with a happily-ever-after! 

By following these steps, you will be able to come up with a short and sweet relatable campaign that arouses joy! Thus, making your content viral. 

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