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The Power of Emotion in Healthcare Advertising

The Role of Emotional Appeal in Healthcare Marketing

More than marketing a product or service, the healthcare industry is in the business of changing and saving lives. In this emotionally charged field, should some of that emotion bleed into your advertising? Let’s dissect what packing an emotional punch can mean for your healthcare brand.

Is Emotional Advertising Effective?

Just like healthcare, advertising is a scientific field in many ways. Ad professionals do their best work when they understand what the human brain craves and acts upon. That’s why many love emotional advertising.

According to research from the University of New Orleans, emotional connections help consumers identify with brands. When advertising generates an emotional response in potential patients, they’re more likely to form a mental attachment to your brand that will impact what healthcare provider they seek out when they’re in need.

But not every reaction has a positive response.

How Far Is Too Far?

Humans are hardwired to be emotional creatures—sometimes, to our detriment. We’ll follow our emotions to the end of the Earth, but the second our emotions slide into fear, we’re running in the opposite direction. If healthcare marketers are looking to generate an emotional reaction in consumers, they must be very careful that they stay away from messaging that could make them fearful.

One Texan women’s health center knows this better than anyone. Their messaging, which included statements like “Don’t wait until it’s too late,” was meant to create a healthy interest in getting a regular mammogram. In reality, it did the opposite. Subconsciously, it’s easy to avoid being the one out of eight women with breast cancer when you never get screened for it. Our evolutionary desire to avoid pain and suffering is what makes fear so dangerous to healthcare advertising.

Using emotional rhetoric in healthcare advertising can be an incredibly powerful tool, but with great power comes great responsibility. Ensure that your healthcare brand’s campaigns never cross over into fearmongering to keep patients eager to return and stay on top of their wellbeing.

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