How to use emotional appeal in Google Ads campaigns?


Impressing Google users in a few characters (Search Network) or through a graphic piece (Display Network) has been a headache for many professionals in the digital market. With that in mind, here are some insights on how to optimize your campaigns.

How important are feelings in Digital Marketing?

The internet has become increasingly dynamic, consequently, the way brands present themselves needs to keep up with these changes. Cold and indirect communication, used previously, begins to lose ground in the market. Today, personalized content, which seeks to engage the customer, takes over the digital environment.

There are some ways to relate to the public in a more subjective way, the use of feelings is one of them. Adding the sentimental appeal, correctly, is essential to activate the so-called “mental triggers”, so important in decision making, they are:

  • Scarcity;
  • Urgency;
  • Authority;
  • Reciprocity;
  • Social Proof;
  • Explanation;
  • Anticipation;
  • News;
  • Pain x Pleasure.

Mental triggers encourage the visitor to take actions, as they bring sentimental value to your content. Using them assertively will certainly bring more conversions to your business. See how they apply to Google Ads campaigns.

What feelings can we work on in Google Ads?

To explain how sentiments work on both the search and display networks, we define ads as:

  • Non-sentimental: These are ads that focus on information and do not work with any emotional triggers. When complete, well detailed and with a good offer, they provide the visitor with all the purchase motivators that help in decision making;
  • Positive Feelings: They work on the user’s positive feelings. They seek to bring in their ads the emotional benefits that will be provided to the customer. These ads use mental triggers such as reciprocity, novelty, authority, social proof, anticipation and explanation;
  • Negative sentimental: They seek to work on consumers’ fears and self-identify as the solution to problems. Feelings of scarcity, urgency or even pain are ideal for holding the audience’s attention.

Finally, this is an example where the company, before presenting the benefits of its public speaking course, “bothers” the client by addressing the fear of public speaking. This company uses the common pain of its prospects to present the qualities of its business, that is, it uses the Pain x Pleasure relationship.

The analysis of the ads in force at Google shows the impact that emotional appeals, positive or negative, have on users. However, before deciding how best to structure your campaign, understand how buyers tend to react to mental triggers.

Based on our know-how in digital marketing, we brought some common situations in Google Ads to guide you in your next campaigns.

Feelings in the search network

Let’s say you’re running a campaign for a Google Ads tool whose objective is to improve its performance. Therefore, those looking for it believe that there is a possibility of obtaining a greater financial return.

Imagine running two ads during the same period and comparing what the click-through and conversion rates were in each case. The appeal of one of the ads will be “Stop wasting money on Google Ads”, while the other will be based only on the benefit “Get the best result in Google Ads”.

Thus, it is possible to confirm that, despite selling the same product, completely different ways of communicating were used. While the first arouses fear in consumers, the other expresses itself in a completely positive way. But, in the end, which one would bring more results?

Considering the patterns of shoppers in the digital environment, especially on the Google search network, we can say that the probability of success of the ad with negative appeal is higher. Both the return on conversions and the click-through rate are higher, as the fear of missing out has a greater impact on the audience. However, counterintuitively, on the display network, images with negative connotations tend to perform worse.

The impact of sentiments used in display network ads

Let’s assume that on the display network the ads served in Gmail, for example, would work with the same message.

Now think of illustrations according to each communication used previously. That is, imagine an ad for the same product being portrayed with positive feelings and another with negative feelings. How would the consumer react to the ad?

User behavior in the digital environment shows that the visual resource has greater influence over text. So, even if a message written with pain appeal generates more conversions, an image depicting the loss of money will make a negative first impression. Therefore, the results of the positive image tend to be better, since there is a rejection over the other.


Realizing that even with similar communication the results will possibly be different, it is concluded that in marketing there are no absolute truths. But what should you do to use feelings in the right way?

Do A/B tests

As with almost everything on the internet, the basic rule is to test. Each situation involves a series of variables such as: audience, objectives, budget, among others. With that in mind, we will not bring you a formula to achieve results, but the path for you to follow until you reach your goals.

On the display network, unlike the search network, the visual design matters more than the message appeal itself. So, we suggest that you run ads with different appeals in order to understand the reactions of your audience. Only then will it be possible to diagnose the best ways to relate and generate more engagement with them.

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