May 21, 2015
Emotional targeting is the future – and you’re worth it

Emotional targeting is the future – and you’re worth it

THE DRUM – Emotional targeting is the future of ad placement.

As the L’Oréal group radically transforms its UK digital strategy to create an emotional connection with its customers – elevating brands such as Garnier and Yves Saint Laurent to the coveted status of ‘love brands’ – it’s clear that this innovative form of contextual and behavioural targeting is gaining traction, and that the benefits of emotional intelligence are starting to shine brighter.

Emotions are incredibly powerful. They govern our day-to-day decisions and actions, yet for the majority of digital marketing campaigns, a connection between the emotional context of the campaign and the brand’s emotional message is lacking. But this can now be rectified using the semantic understanding of feelings within digital content, bridging current contextual and behavioural targeting techniques.

If anyone was in doubt that emotions expressed in digital content could impact the emotions we feel, the controversial Facebook study that altered the newsfeed mood of almost 700,000 users, and then observed the tone of their subsequent posts, did a good job of proving that they can – and they do.

Within the study, when provided with a negative news feed, resulting posts from users tended to be more pessimistic while the opposite was true for positive news feeds. This should come as no surprise. Who hasn’t felt a little down after reading a sad news story, or found themselves smiling after reading a review of their football team’s latest victory?

Emotional targeting allows brands to tap into this minefield – capturing sentiment within their digital content and bringing together the right consumers, in the right frame of mind, with the right emotive message to create a strong connection and increase the effectiveness of digital advertising. Emotional targeting enables advertisers to capture the consumer’s real-time mood and deliver the most appropriate ad according to the emotional context of the page, maximising brand recall and ROI.

If an ad, which projects a positive emotion, is placed on a page that contains negative content, the reader won’t be in the correct mindset to receive the ad’s message – effectively wasting the impression. This certainly sounds futuristic but the technology is here and available; by utilising Natural Language Processing brands can serve messages that reflect the emotions elicited by the content – enhancing targeting way beyond the cookie.

It’s encouraging to see that L’Oreal is looking to drive an emotional connection with its consumers. Emotional targeting is the future of ad placement – building on contextual and behavioural targeting techniques – allowing brands to capture the emotions content can elicit in readers to keep them engaged while intelligently matching ads.

By leveraging the semantic understanding of feelings and behaviours in content to identify emotions, advertisers can improve overall engagement and relationship with the brand.

From The Drum