The Power of Emotional Narrative

We all love a good story – in fact as humans we’re hardwired to seek them out1. Ever since we could stand on our own two feet, sharing stories is how we’ve made sense of the world around us. However, the effectiveness of your tale depends greatly on the way you tell it.

Emotional rooted narratives for example are twice as effective as rational (31% versus 16%)2 – not that surprising, we are after all emotional beings at heart. What is surprising though is that many companies, particularly in health, still opt for rational reasoning to share the story behind their product or service.

This could be for a number of factors; a greater comfort in science than emotions; a belief that HCPs only want facts; a fear of showing the human side of the organisation.
Whatever the cause, here’s why emotional narratives, the ones that truly pull at the heart strings are so much more effective…

1. It’s memorable
Happy, sad, fearful, angry or surprised – emotions are what make us human. Ensuring your narrative is written with these emotional triggers in mind connects with our biological wiring on a deeper level, making it harder to forget – particularly when paired with authenticity.

2. It builds positive association
Telling a story, rather than just pushing a sell enables you to establish feel-good emotions between you and your audience – they buy into ‘why you do what you do’ instead of the final incarnation of a product.

3. It appeals to emotion, not reason
Being good isn’t good enough anymore. You need to demonstrate why you matter. Why your products and services are the answer and not just something new and innovative. It’s a lot easier to do this and more effective with emotionally led stories. What’s more, once you’ve built that connection, you can offer up a few choice reasons to believe (or facts) that help drive total adoption.

Need more evidence?

Here are a few great examples of brands that have harnessed emotion to influence change…

Tommy’s #togetherforchange (1 min)
One in every four pregnancies ends in loss, with half of those going unexplained. Tommy’s, which funds research into baby loss, is aiming to challenge the cultural silence around this issue and has produced this incredibly emotive piece.

Wanda Summers – Down but not out (4 mins)
A proactive piece produced by Create Health to demonstrate the awesome power of mindset. This story proves there’s positives in never giving up. That it’s truly possible to think yourself better. That we are meant to thrive, not just survive.

Smile, love & be kind (16 mins)
A proper tear jerker, this is the story of a very brave woman called Emmy. An amazing film made to spread positivity & hope. Although not brand commissioned, this piece has helped raise over £150,000 for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Got a story to tell? We’d love to help you get to the heart of it and create a narrative that makes it matter.

Phil Blackmore

Phil Blackmore

Creative Director

The healthcare industry is bursting with extraordinary and ingenious ideas that have the power to transform the way we live and empower people to take control of their own health. Healthcare marketing, on the whole, is not. I’m proud to be part of an agency that’s changing that.