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It's human nature. Decisions are made at the gut level, which is why triggering different emotional states has always been a huge part of marketing and advertising, regardless of the medium. Now with the popularity of video, businesses have a huge opportunity to leverage the power of sights and sounds, while connecting with customers on an emotional level.

Emotionally charged video ads increase brand awareness and drive consumers to take action. A video advertising campaign has done its job if it makes you feel something: Whether sad or shocking, happy or hilarious, these types of videos spark emotion in the viewer and boost the likelihood the brand will be remembered.

Psychologists and behavioural scientists have long explored subconscious decision-making, and when it comes to purchasing from a brand, it turns out that how we feel is more important than what we think. Strong emotional advertising penetrates the heart and mind and sticks around.

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Here are some examples of video ad campaigns with strong emotional motivators:

Can a gum commercial make you cry? Let's find out: Unexpected for a chewing gum brand, Extra's 'Origami' is a heartwarming one minute video ad that tells a viewer a touching story about a father and daughter and the bond that they share. I teared up at end, and there's a good chance you will too. I know I also thought about this 'story' the last time I checked out at the grocery store and glanced at the gum display.

Budweiser's 'Puppy Love' was hailed to be the most successful commercial of the Superbowl. The spot has nothing to do with beer, instead features a Budweiser Clydesdale horse and a very cute puppy, documenting their unlikely and tender friendship. Why is this one a winner? Two words: puppies and horses. Animals can capture our hearts like no other.

KMart's 'Ship My Pants' may walk a fine line between tasteful and not, but it's undeniably funny. It's a simple and clever approach that works: develop an entertaining ad that makes people chuckle, while focusing on and repeating a key value offering (in Kmart's case it's free shipping). Video ads with this approach can be created to have a longer shelf life, and are often able to reach a larger and unexpected audience because of continuous social media engagement and sharing.

How would you react if you saw a guy slammed against a wall and levitated by the power of a girl's mind? We found out how many unsuspecting patrons in a coffee shop would, thanks to this stunt ad created to promote the release of the movie 'Carrie', back in Oct. 2013. 'Prankvertising' is becoming more common these days, as watching other people's reactions to crazy things can be quite entertaining. This one obviously is, as of this writing, the Telekenetic Coffee Shop Surprise video has amassed 57-million views, and continues to earn new shares, likes and comments today.

Video advertising is rife with opportunity for engaging consumers and building overall brand awareness. Pair this potential with the proven emotional advertising model, and you've got a formula for success.

Bottom line: if your customers feel nothing, they do nothing. Your job is to make them feel a lot, so they want to do business with you, a lot. It's just science. Simple, tried and true.

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Lisa Ostrikoff is a TV journalist and anchor-turned-creator of BizBOXTV, a Canadian online video production, advertising and social media marketing agency. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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