5 Emotional Storytelling Campaigns That Tug on Your Heart Strings



It’s no surprise that storytelling is an effective way to advertise your product or service.

What you might not have known though is that emotional storytelling, the kind that tugs on your heartstrings, is 31% more effective than any other type of marketing.

The reason it works is simple. Humans are emotional beings. And emotional beings are swayed by emotional factors when making purchases.

When you create your next business campaign, think about the fastest way to dive into your customer’s heart. (Metaphorically, of course. Unless you’re a heart surgeon…then go for it!)

Typically, we try to avoid making our clients cry when communicating, but trust us on this one. Emotional storytelling is a marketing strategy that will make your brand, and your message, stand out from the crowd.

Here’s why it works:

It’s Memorable

Marketing content created with human emotions in mind has the power to make deep connections. These deep connections make it hard for consumers to forget a message.

Think about it for a minute. What is something you’ve seen or read that’s engraved into your memory?

That’s the power of emotional marketing.

It Creates Positive Associations

Linking feel-good emotions to your marketing content through storytelling creates positive associations for your consumers to your brand.

It works because storytelling gives you the ability to link memorable images of your brand with the objectives of your marketing campaign.

It Appeals to Emotion, Not Reason

Simply selling a product isn’t enough anymore. You need to give your audience an experience.

Creating an experience is easy with emotional storytelling.

When you appeal to emotion, instead of reason, you…

  • Establish deeper value with your product or service.
  • Eliminate psychological pain.
  • Vanquish Regret.

Now that we’re clear on the advantages of emotional storytelling, how do you do it effectively?

Let us walk you through our 5 favorite emotional storytelling campaigns and why they are successful.

  1. Folgers – Home for the Holidays

The Folgers “Home for the Holidays” campaign was launched in 2009, and has continued to run around the holiday season ever since.

This commercial tells a story of a brother who traveled home from Africa to visit family for the holidays. It’s clear that the brother rarely gets to see his family, which makes coming home for a visit special.

Why This Campaign Works

  • It speaks to parents whose hearts ache because they miss their children when they aren’t home.
  • It speaks to siblings who don’t get to see each other on a regular basis.
  • It takes place during the holiday season, the time of year where it’s most important to have everyone under one roof together.

How Folgers Positioned Their Brand Story

Folgers established their product as an item that brings the whole family together. They did a beautiful job of associating their coffee with warm, fuzzy, and heart-filled emotions.


  1. Iams – A Boy and His Dog Duck

The Iams campaign “A Boy and His Dog Duck” tells the story of a little boy growing up and going through life with his dog named Duck. The point of the commercial is to show viewers that Iams dog food will keep your pet going strong for years to come.

Why This Campaign Works

  • It plays into the emotions of pet owners who want their pets to live forever.
  • It tells a story that resonates with people who have grown up alongside their pets.
  • It makes viewers contemplate the inevitable…that your pet will grow old. This sparks an emotional response to want to do whatever is possible to keep them healthy and around longer.

How Iams Positioned Their Brand Story

Iams communicated that they are the solution to keeping your pets healthy and young at heart as they age.

  1. Budweiser – Puppy Love

The Budweiser “Puppy Love” campaign tells an endearing story of a puppy and a horse that will stop at nothing to be together. It’s a feel-good story that will melt your heart (and make you cry).

Why This Campaign Works

  • It creates a positive association with the brand.
  • It’s memorable thanks to the story and adorable puppy.
  • It appeals to emotion, not reason. This is essential for “luxury” products.

How Budweiser Positioned Their Brand Story

Budweiser positioned themselves as the warm and fuzzy friend that everyone wants to be around.

  1. Pampers – Mom’s First Birthday

The Pampers “Mom’s First Birthday” campaign features dads thanking moms for everything they did during their child’s first year of life. It’s a story that not only brought the moms in this commercial to tears, but touched the heart of many other moms around the world.

Why This Campaign Works

  • It tells a story that resonates with women around the world.
  • It connects emotionally with mothers who have made sacrifices during their children’s first year.
  • It’s memorable thanks to its tear-jerking storyline.

How Pampers Positioned Their Brand Story

Pampers made it clear that they support and care for women who take on the daunting task of raising a child. They established the idea that they are about more than just “making a sale.”

  1. Proctor & Gamble – Pick Them Back Up

The Proctor & Gamble “Pick Them Back Up” campaign tells the story of moms who supported their kids, who later went on to be Olympians, through every stage of life. The story highlights the use of P&G products that helped mom along the way.

Why This Campaign Works

  • It connects deeply to the emotions of parents who support their children’s dreams.
  • It tells a memorable story.
  • It creates an association that P&G products help parents raise successful children.

How P&G Positioned Their Brand Story

P&G positioned their products as helpful tools successful parents and children use throughout their lives. It doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re in, P&G’s got your back.

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