The Importance of Evoking Emotions in Visual Marketing


When using visual merchandising, it is important to create something that your viewers can relate and react to, whether it is inspiring them to do something after the advert or product demonstration has finished, or it evokes an emotion or positive memory. The idea of visual merchandising is that it is appealing and that it grabs our attention.

We don’t want to see a huge wall of text with a bunch of mumbo-jumbo technical or corporate jargon on it. We want something that we can quickly engage in. The power of visual merchandising is its ability to pack a powerful punch in a limited time frame. You have 20-30 seconds, sometimes not even that, to relay your message, push your product and make your closing statement. Not a lot of time.

So why are emotions important in visual merchandising? You’ll want to

Leave them with a lasting impression

You want your advert to stick in the minds of your audience after it has been shown. Something that is funny and relatable, or an image that appears humorous in their minds. Specsavers for example are very good at taking jokes and twisting them on their head slightly, just with the running punch line of ‘they forgot their glasses’ and the latest ‘bingo’ style advert is no exception. The imagery we see in the advert is unique and amusing and not something we would normally see when watching the elderly on the television, thus it leaves us with a lasting impression. Funny is always a good angle to go with adverts and it works wonders when done right.

Don’t push the product in their faces

Gone are the days where we would have minute long advertisements simply describing the product and everything it can do for our lives. If you want to see that you can visit one of the ‘shopping channels’. You are honestly just throwing information at people, which they might not find interesting at first. If your audience want to know more about the product, they can easily find out themselves.

Merchandising nowadays is far more abstract. Many motoring advertisements on the television are so artistic you can barely find a car in them until right at the end. This may be going a little too far in my opinion but it certainly isn’t doing Audi any harm. People don’t want the product to be pushed at them constantly, they prefer it when it comes out of nowhere, like a twist at the end of an M Night  Shyamalan film.

Make the Situation Relatable

Create something that resonates with them on some level. People like to see adverts that they can relate to, or at the very least that applies in some way to their everyday lives. If your advert about an open university contains a bunch of stats about the wage of university graduates versus non-graduates in the same field, people are going to switch off. They can’t relate to it, therefore it doesn’t interest them.

An excellent example of a relatable advertisement is the recent Pandora advert released shortly after Mother’s day. The simple social experiment that saw 6 children blindfolded and trying to recognise their mother from a group simply by touch and smell. It is relatable because we know the scent of our own family. It is that ‘togetherness’ that makes us empathise with the characters on screen and causes the advert and the product to stick in our minds long after the advert has ended.

However you choose to use visual merchandising to your advantage, you need to think about your target audience and how they are likely to react to the advertisement. Will it leave a lasting impression on their minds in the short time you have for the advert? Will they be encouraged to buy? Or are you trying to gain more supporters from a broader audience? Set yourself clear goals and work to achieve them.

You also need to modernise the merchandising. Nowadays everything has to be hard hitting, bigger and better than ever. Everything has to make you feel something, otherwise people just tend to switch off. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements, so in order for something to stick with us it has to be funny, informative or emotional. Play to your strengths!

Article provided by, a company specialising in the design, supply and installation of retail window displays since 1979.

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