Fast Company published an article discussing the recent trend of SADvertising in advertising and other communications. SADvertising’s goal is exactly what it sounds like: to evoke sad emotions from the audience through advertising. When you’re communicating social messages, it’s essential to establish a meaningful connection with your audience, whether it’s through tears or laughter.
Emotions are extremely powerful–an ad that makes you laugh out loud is sure to be more memorable than one that garners no reaction at all. On the opposite end, an ad that makes you cry is sure to stay top-of-mind, and with it, the brand messaging delivered through the sob story. But you have to be cautious so your audience doesn’t feel manipulated and your message gets across.
SADvertising is a newer term in the ad world, which is why we’re staying on top of it. We recently pitched a SXSW Interactive panel, SADvertising: Why Tears are the New Tactic, that focuses on how social marketers and others are jumping on this trend. Of course, our iconic TV spot from the 1970s featuring the Crying Indian is one of the best examples that comes to mind. Below are some of our more recent campaign public service ads that have taken a heartstrings-pulling approach.