Why the launch of Facebook Reactions should excite brands | DMA

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Why the launch of Facebook Reactions should excite brands


Facebook have announced that they will launch a series of emojis to complement the 'Like' button. This follows a successful trial in Spain and Ireland, two of Facebook’s more self-contained markets.

The emojis will cover five 'reactions' including Love, HaHa, Angry, Wow and Sad. They have been introduced as Facebook users wanted a more subtle way of expressing empathy for their friends' posts. The 'Like' button is a crude response to posts about splitting with one's girlfriend or a tough day at work. The five particular emotions were selected after Facebook analysed users’ comments and the emoji-like stickers they were already using.

It's an interesting development for Facebook users, but why should advertisers be take note?

Mainly because it suggests that advertisers will soon be able to accurately target consumers by their mood. That's exciting as happy people are more receptive to ads.

The experimental evidence

ZenithOptimedia worked with students from the University of Lancaster to quantify the effect. In the experiment participants were shown ads after either being exposed to either happy or sad stimuli. Participants exposed to happy stimuli were 9% more likely than other respondents to say they would use the advertised product in the future.

Our findings are supported by other experiments.

Fred Bronner, a psychologist at the University of Amsterdam, ran a test into the effect of mood on ad recall amongst 1,287 participants. The participants flicked through a newspaper and then answered questions about which ads they remembered. When the data was split by the reader's mood the results were conclusive: readers in a good mood remembered 28% more ads than those in a bad mood.

An evolutionary explanation

Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize winning psychologist, has provided an evolutionary explanation for this phenomenon. When we're in a good mood it signifies the absence of danger and, therefore, mitigates against the need to think critically. We're therefore far more likely to absorb ad messages when we're happy.

When Facebook targeting via emojis is available, advertisers should seize the opportunity. Until then they'll have to make do with targeting moments when people are likely to be happiest.

This could be done by weather targeting, reaching people during enjoyable events like a cinema trip or simply focusing on key day-parts. According to IPA TouchPoints, evenings along with Friday and Saturdays, are the times when people tend to be in a better mood. Using some of these mood targeting tactics will, hopefully, lead to some happy clients.

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