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Why Tapping Human Emotions is the Key to Marketing Success

You may like to think of yourself as a logical person but the truth is the vast majority of decisions you make are split-second choices (almost) always driven by emotion. It’s neuroscience fact! In a recent Fast Company article Douglas Van Praet, author of Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing, wrote that

“Emotions are the substrate, the base layer of neural circuitry underpinning even rational deliberation. Emotions don’t hinder decisions. They constitute the foundation on which they’re made!”

We, as a race, form opinions about people we meet within 7 seconds. We make choices about the clothes we wear and the cars we drive based on how other people will perceive us. A Princeton study has even shown that we choose political candidates based (at least in part) on how “attractive” or “trustworthy” their facial expressions are.

Our brains are hardwired to work this way. By relying on emotion to help us make these snap decisions, we conserve computing power for more “important” functions—like figuring out what’s for dinner or remembering to pick up the kids after practice. As an event planner you can use this to create emotionally driven marketing campaigns and advertisements to dramatically increase your customer conversion rates, sell out venues, and increase profits.

ticket sales marketing tips


Happiness. Either people have it and want more or don’t have it at all and can’t live without it. That desire rakes in millions of dollars per year on everything from gym memberships to trips to the ice cream shop. Tap into that desire by using images of happy people (or even inanimate objects) in your advertising. People see people being happy and they get jealous—“I want what they have!”

Android’s “Be together. Not the same” campaign is a wonderful example: people from all walks of life smiling and singing and dancing simply because they have “chosen” to express individuality and combat the iPhone monopoly.

Smart event planners manipulate this desire to be happy by promoting the joy one gets from attending. These adverts confirm that engaging in an existing hobby/interest will result in feeling better about yourself and life in general.


Fear is the most powerful driving factor in our lives. It makes us act “crazy” and keeps us from doing things we’ve always wanted to do. Insurance companies lean heavily on advertising that plays to our fears. Event planners can too.

Concert promoters play up the fear of being left out. They’ve always used verbiage like “for one night only” but now they cram popular bands/artists into tiny venues. This decreases the supply of seats and immediately increases demand for tickets. Fans fear they’ll be left empty handed. That imbalance in the age-old supply/demand formula creates sold-out performances and opens opportunities for premium and VIP upsells!


Grabbing attention is the hardest component of marketing. We’re bombarded by an average of 5,000 advertisements per day. If yours doesn’t jump out it’s just more white noise. Disgust (and/or frustration) can focus attention quickly. Always used disgust in their “Like a Girl” campaign (which won multiple international awards) by highlighting preconceived gender stereotypes.

But selling with anger can be tricky. Politically incorrect comedians like Jeff Dunham, edgy musical groups like Insane Clown Posse, and even alternative Broadway Musicals like Hamilton have used anger and disgust in marketing wisely to create a sense of comradery among their fans that increases the likelihood of pushing that buy button.

It’s Time to Share: The Viral Component

Emotional marketing in the social media age is easy. When people get excited about something they share it with the click of a button. Clickbait articles are the perfect “shocking,” “terrifying,” or “sexy” examples of this viral share. And viral sharing is free (or nearly free) advertisement for your event! So:

1) Use that emotional pull to make your adverts stand out then
2) Play to those emotions to decrease resistance

And don’t forget to ask for that share!

Bypass Buying Objections

Successfully tapping into a prospect’s emotions is essentially bypassing their logical brain—the portion that thinks ticket prices are too high or indulging in 1990’s nostalgia isn’t worth it. Do it correctly and you can make that buying impulse automatic.

For more information on how Ticketstripe can help with your online event marketing and streamline ticket sales, contact us today.