You thought:Really strong negative emotions in charity ads is the best way to persuade people to donate.
New facts:Donation ads that combine the sadness and strength emotions are more likely to inspire donors and induce positive ad evaluations than ads using sadness-dominating emotions.
Donation ads that combine the two types of emotions could lead to not only more inspiration but also more actual donations than ads using just sadness-dominating emotions.
What Marketing Doctor orders:If you run a charitable organizations, you can craft more effective donation ads. Don't just limit yourself to using negative-dominating emotions to make people more empathetic towards your issue.
Think strategically and design donation ads which combine the discrete positive emotion of strength with sadness. It may not only cause less distress to the viewers but also be more effective than sadness-dominating or strength-dominating emotions.
Source: Jianping Liang, Zengxiang Chen, Jing Lei. Inspire me to donate: The use of strength emotion in donation appeals. Journal of Consumer Psychology, available online 3 October 2015.
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