Want to create a real tear-jerker of an online video ad? Provoke a heartfelt response from your customers? You might have better luck targeting that ad at young men.
Recent research shows that men age 18 to 34 are far more likely to feel intense emotional reactions to videos than are women the same age. When tested for 18 different psychological responses, millennial men had the highest reactions in 14 categories. Using a tool called ShareRank, researchers studied U.S. viewers and found that young men were more likely to get angry, aroused, or exhilarated by video. They also took the lead in happy, fearful, nostalgic, proud, and inspired reactions.
Here’s how the numbers broke out. Millennial men were more likely to feel arousal (+102 percent), anger (+39 percent), fear (+38 percent), contempt (+38 percent), shock (+35 percent), pride (+23 percent), amazement (+18 percent), exhilaration (+18 percent), hilarity (+15 percent), knowledge (+12 percent), nostalgia (+11 percent), inspiration (+9 percent), happiness (+7 percent), and confusion (+7 percent) than the average viewer. Young men averaged emotional reactions 13 percent higher than those of millennial women.
Older women (55 and above) were more likely to feel warmth (12 percent), sadness (11 percent), and surprise (8 percent).
Older men (55 and above) were more likely to feel disgust (18 percent) at a video.
Here’s the takeaway, why all this matters: Viewers who are emotionally engaged with a branded video are more likely to share it. They’re also more likely to remember the brand and buy the product. Emotions lead to engagement, and engagement leads to sales.
The researchers found that approximately 70 percent of viewers who had an intense emotional response to a video ad were very likely to buy the advertised product.
Now, here’s a nice emotional video ad to get you crying: