Many of our decisions are driven by how an action makes us feel or connects to personal interests and concerns.

Principles & Strategies

Leverage emotions

  • Tap into core emotions that drive specific actions or outcomes

Personalize the message

  • Put a human face on campaigns and focus on a single story over abstract statistics
  • Tailor messages to make them personally relevant, relatable, and appealing


Be intentional when selecting emotions, and base your messaging strategy on your data and context. Emotions are powerful drivers of behavior, and eliciting the ‘wrong’ emotion can lead to opposite or unintended effects.

Children feel excited to learn about local marine species.

Explore a real life case that leveraged emotional appeals to protect communities and their environment. Project Cane Changer put sugarcane farmers at the center of a solution that protects marine ecosystems, improves ocean health and secures livelihoods.