The Appeal to Emotion


Everyone has a family. No matter who you are and what you have done, you still have those people whom you love and can depend on. And while some people may have a negative relationship with their blood family, everyone has someone that they trust and love. Humans were created for relationship and it was ingrained in our DNA. Cancer Research UK takes this fact and uses it to emotionally influence their viewers in this advertisement.

Within the first twenty seconds, this ad has already displayed its hook, using pathos. The image of a mother disappearing from her son’s side invokes the emotions of fear, love, and sadness. It develops sadness by reminding viewers of loved ones they have lost. Accompanied with this sadness is the love that these people have felt and still feel for those whom they have lost. Finally, fear presents itself as the viewer thinks of those closest to them who they do not want to lose. The boy is purposefully dressed with a tie and jacket to look more like a man, showing that he had to grow up more rapidly on his own, without the guidance of his mother. Furthermore, the colors displayed in the background influence the viewer, just as much as the image itself. The drab and dim colors seen such as grey, brown, and black all suggest loss, grief, and fear. The emotion of fear is most important because it is what makes the viewer most engaged and want to prevent this fate by whatever means possible.