The Science Behind Creating Emotion In Videos

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Videos are often created with emotion, to create emotion. Creating emotion in a video is part of something called atmospheric marketing, or the discipline of designing commercial spaces. Emotional design plays a role in expanding reach, influencing decision making and ultimately, drives action. With the right combination, triggered emotions create two main actions: sharing and buying. Emotions are powerful motivations. They’re used to change perception, create memorable and relatable content, marketing, and persuasion. People rely on emotions rather than information to make brand decisions. At the very core, the magnitude of our reaction to emotionally charged video content revolves around self-interest.

A study done by neuroscientist Professor Paul Zak, found that video storytelling taps into powerful neurochemicals that create emotion. The neurochemicals effected are cortisol and oxytocin. Cortisol focuses our attention on something important, while oxytocin socially bonds us and creates feelings of trust. Therefore, creating a compelling story involves creating attention-driven content, trust, and empathy. The key to creating loyal customers is emotional connection. Furthermore, there are cells in the brain called mirror neurons. These neurons fire when we relate to something. The brain processes most of these stimuli the way it would process real life. It’s our human intuition to want to share experiences and create a space for deep emotions with others.

Emotions in video are created in multiple ways, one being by providing gaps for “emotional cleansing”. This gives your audience time to regroup and be won over by emotions over again, like being on a rollercoaster. “Build an emotional rollercoaster. Viewers are most likely to continue watching a video ad if they experience emotional ups and downs. This fits with psychological research findings about human adaptability. When we come into a warm home on a cold winter day, or when we receive a pay raise, we experience pleasure, but the feeling is transitory; the novelty soon wears off. Advertisers need to briefly terminate viewers’ feelings of joy or surprise and then quickly restore them, creating an emotional roller coaster- much the way a movie generates suspense by alternating tension and relief,” explained Thales Teixeira, Assistant Marketing Professor at the Harvard Business School in The Secrets to Delivering Tissue-Worthy, Emotional Marketing videos on vidyard.com. This doesn’t only apply to video ads, but any sort of emotionally charged video, given that human adaptability, or the idea that feelings are transitory, isn’t limited to a scope, and in essence, videos in themselves are all “ads” for something.

Other ways emotion is created in video is with specific wording in scripting, engaging visuals, and music tracks. Music or lack thereof, can change the emotional charge of a video dramatically. Music is used to create mood and extract emotions that coincide with what the creators want their audience to feel and experience. Music also increases memorability, and can dictate the way a scene is supposed to feel and the magnitude of that emotion.

Emotion is intentionally and deliberately used in video. It is crafted carefully and systematically in order to attract viewers, and ultimately consumers. The correlation between video and emotion, and emotion and audience is direct and vital to brand success.

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