The Power of Joy Marketing and How You Can Use It

No matter how logical you consider yourself, your emotions will always take over.

Psychologists found that humans feel first and think later. When we receive sensory information, the emotional part of our brains processes the information faster than the cognitive part.

Emotional marketing tells a story that connects audiences with brands profoundly and personally. Brands use advertising and marketing to appeal to a range of emotions, but the most common they elicit is joy.

Consumers are bombarded with thousands of messages every day. They seek authentic experiences with brands — not experiences that try to manipulate them into buying things.

When leveraged, joy marketing can help brands differentiate themselves from the competition and create happy long-time customers.

How do you get to the heart of joy marketing? Today, we answer that question and give you a few ways to incorporate this technique into your brand advertising strategy.

What is Joy Marketing?

Joy marketing describes campaigns that elicit a specific emotional response: joy. From commercials that pull on the heartstrings to inspiring quotes, this approach allows brands to connect with their audience on an authentic level.

Using joy marketing to boost sales gained prominence following research by psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky. Her study found that 93 percent of Americans searched for more joy.

Why Does Joy Marketing Work?

Researchers Lee and Sirgy found the marketing strategies that contribute to consumers’ happiness result in customer trust and loyalty. 

You’ve probably seen the power of joy marketing by big brands. When we think about happiness in marketing, Coca-Cola is one of the most prominent examples. Many of their campaigns are geared around joy. In fact, one of their most successful campaigns featured the tagline: “Open Happiness.”

Why are sales campaigns that promote happiness so powerful?

When customers engage with a message that makes them feel joyful or relaxed, they can make more fact-based decisions. And if you aim to influence consumers, you must ensure that their decisions are made in good conscience. 

A study conducted at the University of Southern California found that people with impaired emotional centers in their brains could think critically, but they were unable to make decisions. 

Joy marketing is based on psychological triggers that make consumers feel good. It helps them remember your brand and motivates them to act.

To present a marketing message that influences others, you must empathize with the consumer. What do they want to feel? Happiness.

Why You Should Market With Joy

Joy is a concept we are all familiar with from childhood. We have positive feelings about it – we want to experience more of it every day.

And we can incorporate it into the business world using storytelling. By highlighting joy as an emotion in brand marketing, you associate happiness and fulfillment with your product or service:

  • Consumers will associate joy with your brand
  • Joy translates to employees
  • Joy is an attention-grabber for consumers

How Can You Engage Your Customers With Joy Marketing?

Before creating happiness marketing campaigns, you have to understand what customers value.

In The Happiness Hypothesis, psychologist Jon Haidt outlines the five principles of happiness:

  • Connection to others
  • Making a difference
  • Experiencing “good”
  • Reciprocity
  • Fairness and justice

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These five key points can even be applied to consumers’ actions and attitudes towards certain brands.

Studies from Edelman and Cone Communications found:

  • 71 percent of consumers make an effort to buy from brands that share the same values as them.
  • 90 percent of consumers stop purchasing from inauthentic or irresponsible brands
  • 89 percent of consumers will buy from brands that stood by social and environmental causes

Be Authentic

Consumers are exposed to thousands of marketing messages a day, So they’ve become desensitized to sales-y or canned messages. The beauty of joy marketing is that it is authentic.

When you elicit an authentic emotional response, you connect with customers and engage them on a deep level. 

Foster Social Connection

Social connection is proven to boost happiness. Studies show that when people are connected to social groups, they experience higher levels of well-being.

This social connection can either be fostered online or in person. 

A Social Sprout survey found that 70 percent of consumers report feeling more connected when a brand’s CEO is active on social media. Additionally, 72 percent of consumers reported feeling the same about employees sharing information about a brand online.

Make Them Laugh

This goes back to one of the happiness fundamentals of “experiencing good.” Experiences that make consumers smile to create an emotional connection that helps them remember your brand.

According to a survey from Clutch, over half of the consumers are most likely to remember a marketing message if it is humorous.

Give Them a Reward

Reward programs are an excellent way to begin the reciprocal relationship between your brand and your customers. This is because they give customers additional value in special discounts and perks.

In addition, rewarding customers who interact with your brand on social media is another great way to create reciprocal relationships.

Stand for a Good Cause

A brand’s stance on social issues is becoming a priority for consumers when choosing brands to support. According to a Kantar study, 68 percent of US consumers expect brands to be clear about their values.

5 Examples of Joy Marketing

How is joy marketing applied to campaigns? Here are how big-name brands use this marketing technique:

1. Ben and Jerry’s

Ben and Jerry’s is one of the most beloved ice cream brands. But, their unique flavors aren’t the only thing that keeps consumers coming back for more. The brand’s stance on social justice is one of the things that spark joy.

Of course, activism isn’t something the company recently adopted; it’s a part of their history. As early as 1987, Ben and Jerry created social justice-themed ice cream flavors to lobby for change and raise money for various causes.

In 2020 the ice cream brand doubled down on its fight against racism and brought back its limited-edition Justice ReMix’d — a flavor and marketing campaign designed to inspire change. 

Part of the proceeds from the sale of this flavor went to the Advancement Project. This organization focuses on racial justice.

Ice Cream Brand

2. Coca Cola

The most recognizable beverage brand in the world crafted feel-good messages for their “Open to Better” campaign in the UK. 

Coca Cola temporarily ditched their logo and replaced them with phrases like,

  • “I will never take my friends for granted,” and 
  • “I will promise to listen more, just for you.” 

Online customization allows users to write custom messages on the cans and send them to loved ones as a mood booster.

This meaningful and heartwarming campaign gave consumers a reason to smile and helped build deeper connections with their social circles.

Coca Cola

3. WestJet

The holiday season is the perfect occasion to launch joy marketing campaigns. 

WestJet’s annual Christmas Miracle campaign appreciated customers by surprising them with free flights to destinations of their choice, gifts, and even reunions with loved ones.

WestJet took its campaign even further in 2020 by donating essential items like blankets, masks, hot meals, and gifts to seniors, children, and shelters.



You know that your furry friend communicates without speaking if you’re a pet owner. You may even imagine your pet talking to you in your head. Chewy honed in on this shared experience with their recent “Chatty Pets” ad. 

This campaign gave a platform for poets to express their innermost thoughts and connect with consumers with this relatable concept.

The ad illustrates a pet’s reaction when they get a package from Chewy. One video advertisement even narrates a cat’s thoughts as its owner purchased the Chewy app.

Their #ChewyChattyPets TikTok challenge inspired this campaign, which invited pet owners to share what their pets were thinking.

Talking pets is a sure way to make consumers smile — whether they’re pet parents or not.


5. Samsung

As a part of Samsung’s #GetThroughThisTogether initiative aimed at giving people hope during the COVID-19 pandemic, the tech brand launched the Samsung Smile Stories campaign.

The campaign shared facts on the physical and mental benefits of smiling. Samsung also encouraged users to appreciate the small things that bring joy.

This campaign also invited the Galaxy community to share photos and videos of things that made bring them joy using the hashtag #SamsungSmileStories.


How to Create a Joy Marketing Campaign

If these joy marketing campaign examples have inspired you, why not try creating your very own joy marketing campaign? Here are a few steps to help you get started with your next sales campaign:

Detect the Joy

Try to find ways in which joy is linked to your brand. Does your brand bring consumers and employees joy? If so, how? What makes your brand different? How can your sales campaigns showcase this joy?

All these questions help define joy in each brand marketing campaign going forward.

Pinpoint Your Audience

The next step is to identify your audience and define how they can be communicated with. Some brands use email marketing, while others use television, print, or social media.

It all depends on which platforms work best for your audience and brand. The key is to find the correct path prior to creating content.

Map and Create Your Content

This step involves choosing your medium for each content piece. It’s a vital step for brand advertising, as the content is how you showcase joy.

What’s best for your brand – an animation, video, image, or blog post? Look at the marketing campaign examples to help you draw some inspiration.

Monitor the Success of Your Campaign

The last step is to monitor and measure your sales campaign’s success. You can use analytics, surveys, and social media listening tools to help you do so.

Joy marketing must be measured with engagement and sentiment metrics. Remember to always refer to your overall brand marketing goals when measuring success.

How Can You Incorporate Happiness In Your Customer Marketing Strategy?

You need to be a big brand or have a big advertising budget to practice the principles of emotional marketing. 

The point is to make your audience feel happy. This can easily be woven into your text message marketing strategy and customer engagement. 

Here are a few ideas to inspire you:

Offer a Reward Through Text Message Marketing

As we mentioned earlier, rewards make consumers happy. So, why not combine joy marketing principles with SMS marketing?

You can reward loyal customers and subscribers with a discount code or offer via text.

For example, you can text your subscribers a discount code that gives them a percentage off merchandise or services to celebrate International Happiness Day.

Here’s an example of a template to add to your SMS marketing strategy:


It’s International Happiness Day! Here’s something guaranteed to make you smile, we’re giving you 20% off your order. 


Encourage Connection

You can foster social connection by inviting your audience to become a part of a group.

You can do this by encouraging customers to follow your social media. They’ll be a part of a community of like-minded people who enjoy your brand.

Inviting customers to join a class or attend an event is another way to help them feel connected.

Share How Your Business Gives Back

Consumers are happy when the brands they support have the same values. You can ignite happiness in your customers by sharing how your business stands up for a worthy cause.

Like Ben and Jerry’s, you could dedicate a product to a social movement, or you could showcase ways your business supports organizations that fight for equality.

Get Your Customers Involved

The #SmileSamsungStories sales campaign is the perfect example of engaging customers through joy marketing. 

Invite customers to share what makes them happy using a specific hashtag. You can also start your own challenge. 

For example, encourage your customers to perform a good deed and post about it with a hashtag. 

Share a Positive Story

Positive stories get more shares and social engagement. To create a connection between the customer and your brand, share a positive story that is relevant to your business.

You can do this by telling an inspirational story of how your business overcame challenges. You can give a little background on why you started your brand and what inspired you. Stories like this are uplifting, and they help create an authentic human connection with your audience.

Another way you can spread joy is by having customers share why your brand makes them happy. 

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Why is International Day of Happiness the Perfect Time for Joy Marketing Campaigns? 

International Day of Happiness is one of the best times to break out joy marketing strategies. On this day, people are looking for messages that make them happy and reinforce the idea that everyone deserves to be happy.

Not only is joy marketing relevant for the occasion, but it shows that your brand values mental health and well-being. In addition, campaigns promoting psychological health can help brands foster brand perception and affinity.

Part of the reason brands like Ben and Jerry’s and Coca-Cola are so successful is because they cater their messaging to human emotions. They don’t try to sell products — they show that they care about the consumers’ happiness.

Get to the Heart of Your Audience

Emotions rule decision-making. In fact, we don’t even have the time to think logically about things before we decide how we feel about them. So if you want to appeal to your audience, you’ll need to find ways to reach the part of their brain that relies on emotion. 

Emotion is also what binds brands and customers together. Without techniques like joy marketing, we’d all have difficulty making purchasing decisions.

Customers want to align themselves with brands that reflect their personal values and cater to their emotions. You could see more significant revenue and happier customers by incorporating emotional sales campaigns in your customer marketing strategy.

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