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Pathos: The Future of Smart Advertising

by: // Saturday, September 22th, 2018-12:28 AM

By Stephanie Klimaszewski 


Brands spend billions of dollars trying to evoke an emotional response among consumers. What if brands could instead evoke the emotion consumers aspire to feel?

Pathos, unveiled by Kilip, is a whitepaper that comprehensively maps the emotional needs of consumers during key mobile moments. By using the data provided in the Pathos whitepaper, brands and advertisers are able to break through the noise and successfully command attention while appealing to consumers’ core emotional needs. Thus, Pathos provides the roadmap for brands to evoke the emotion consumers want to feel.                        


Ÿ   Pathos Methodology

To shape this research, Assembly, MDC Partners flagship full-service media agency provided a grid of eight well-established emotional needs that matter most to brands (see below). "We've found emotional needs targeting to be one of the most effective ways to break through the advertising clutter and make our clients' media dollars work harder,” said Sarah Power, Chief Strategy and Research Officer at Assembly. “Mobile moments offer the ideal format to understand and address consumers' emotional needs in a measurable way.”


The needs can be defined as follows:

To Enjoy / Let Go: to maximize pleasure and enjoy oneself without worrying about the consequences.

To Explore: to seek adventure, test boundaries and discover new things.

To Lead: to be the best; to be an authority and a leader of others.

To Stand Out: to feel unique, special and ahead of the pack; to stand out from the crowd.

Stability: to feel a sense of stability and structure.

To be Reassured: to retreat to a safe place, one that is free from worry or responsibility.

To Fit In: to be surrounded and accepted by people who make others feel welcome.

To Participate: to connect with other people, meet new people and share experiences.

We then ran a network-wide mobile survey for two weeks that captured 125,000 responses and determined the exact moment when users are seeking one of the eight emotional needs.


Ÿ   Key Insights

People find Enjoyment in mobile moments that provide a balance of skill and challenge, reinforcing the idea of flow.

The need to Stand Out remains high into the evening, which correlates with evening social media activity.

Leaders look to virtual, accessible and immediately gratifying sources of power validation. This need is satisfied through adventure, fitness, and productivity apps.

Beauty and shopping moments reflect a need for social Reassurance. Those seeking reassurance are the most engaged compared to other audiences.

Music moments are a top resource for those seeking to Fit In.


Ÿ   How You Can Leverage Pathos

The findings of the Pathos study equip advertisers with the insights they need to build stronger, longer lasting relationships with customers. Your can leverage Pathos in two ways:


1. Consider which of the eight emotional needs your brand most naturally appeals to: to enjoy, to explore, to lead, to stand out, stability, to be reassured, to fit in or to participate. Then, target your brand to the moments, apps and times of day where that emotional need is most prominent. This is where your brand will have the most emotional impact.

For example, if you are a restaurant that offers a joyous dining experience, place your media in moments and apps where enjoyment-seekers go to find enjoyment, like Food, Nature and Charity oriented apps.

2. Consider where you currently place media. If you buy media in environments that trend for a particular emotional need, address that emotional need more directly with your creative. 

For example, the desire “to fit in” is prominent in music environments. If your brand runs in Spotify, Pandora, Shazam and Soundhound, emphasize the community-building benefits of your brand in your creative to address the sense of belonging your target audience seeks from music.

To Download the Pathos Whitepaper, please visit:




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