Optimizing emotional impact of ads for a technology services company


  • Identify which of several ad concepts elicits the strongest emotionally positive response
  • Determine which ads most influence likelihood to purchase and perceptions of the brand
  • Fine-tune ads to optimize emotional and behavioral impact

Research Design

  • Phase 1: Focus groups narrowed down to the most promising creative concepts for quantitative testing
  • Phase 2: Quantitative online survey of n=1,000 (n=200 per cell), tested four versions of the winning concept and a control (current on-air creative). Each version was tested for emotional intensity, emotional significance, and on traditional ad metrics


  • Two-phase approach allowed for a broad investigation of creative ideas while also selecting and optimizing the strongest concept
  • Approach balances optimizing emotional and behavioral response
  • Approach identifies which specific parts of the ad are most engaging; which to dial up or down
  • The winning ad was a significant departure from previous messaging, and resulted in huge gains in market share and revenue
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