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Barry's have it off to a tea with an advert that tugs at the emotions

ADS with emotion are likely to win over more consumers and gain more impact than rational ads.

Speaking to Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) members, British adman, academic and author Robert Heath said most people react to emotion in ads, whether it be a cute Labrador puppy playing with toilet rolls or a drum-beating ape.

Everyone buys into things based on gut feeling and emotional experience. Heath pointed at the UK mobile phone market. In 2005, Orange was the number one brand, followed by T-Mobile, Vodafone and 02. But fast forward five years and 02 had shot to number one spot, without even offering consumers lower prices or superior technology.

What boosted 02 were its ads. Consumers liked the sky blue colour, bubbles and serene characters, in contrast with the clutter and chaos created by other mobile brands.

Advertisers are better off being subtle and going with a soft sell, rather than jolting people into action. Rational messages demand attention and are easily filtered out.

Emotion goes under the radar and plays on the subconscious. Heath praised Barry's Tea ads (pictured), created by Irish International. The music in the Barry's radio ads is relaxing and the message has an easy delivery. Saying things 'nicely', even when the message has to be 'nasty' -- like with road safety ads -- often pays off.

Several years after Stella Artois dropped its 'Reassuringly Expensive' slogan, the Belgian beer was still the UK's top brand. People liked the soft images of Provence and romantic music. Emotional ads like the Andrex puppy and Cadbury's Gorilla help build brands.