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Psychological Perspective: Video Emotions and Campaign Success

Video and film have become a crucial part of digital marketing in recent years. It gives extra depth to imagery and infographics and can be much more emotive when it comes to a marketing or PR campaign. But does the theme of the video correlate with campaign success?

Be it an action film, a thriller, a rom-com or even a sponsored ad, that feeling of watching something and becoming so engrossed in a scene that you have an emotional reaction to it – you start crying or your heart starts beating fast, or you jump in horror at the climax. This behaviour is totally irrational because you know that you’re not in danger. You know that the bad guy isn’t real and cannot harm you. So why is your body reacting like it’s in trouble? Does your body think, even just for a moment, that it is present in the scene?

The physical sense of ‘being there’ whilst watching a video is actually called ‘presence’ in psychological literature and it’s been identified as an important concept in the video viewing experience. Advertisers want to increase the ‘presence’ of their viewers. Why? For a few reasons:

  • Because when users were present they were highly involved, viewers became emotionally involved as well
  • Users who are present report higher enjoyment levels
  • Present people have positive attitudes towards the characters in the film
  • Are easily persuaded, presence can enhance the persuasiveness of media content
  • People who are present can remember more about the video

But what affects presence when watching a video? One of the things is the video topic/theme and length. If the video is more personable as well as longer, the audience will become more engrossed with it.

Next time you are brainstorming ideas for new campaigns, make sure you pay close attention to the theme and the emotions evoked during the video. The memorable adverts are always the most creative and personable, as well as longer ones that come with a story to tell.

Also, when planning to distribute your video, it is important to keep ‘presence’ in mind and make sure you’re choosing platforms that will ensure your video display in the best format possible, as this will ensure the highest engagement rates from your viewers.

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