Neuroscience Study Finds Consumers Engage Most with “Hopeful” & Encouraging Messaging About COVID-19

Michelle Adams MB Blog

Marketing Brainology’s research analyzed how people’s brains react to COVID-19 messaging. Emotionally, brains typically navigate new information by connecting it to past experiences, but COVID-19 leaves people confused.

Empathy differed significantly as a driving emotion with people who watching news stories by those with COVID-19 and the medical community delivering care. This was apparent in participants’ level of emotional engagement during specific content, while others were able to disengage from the same messaging. Younger respondents were the most likely to disengage quickly when watching a traditional COVID-19 news segment. Many admitted they don’t watch the news and these stories were too long and negative for them to continue to engage.

The study also found inspirational messages evoked the highest emotional engagement vs. alarming messages. Nearly all groups reacted to inspirational video montages which included messages from doctors and nurses, “We stay here for you, please stay home for us” help as opposed to messages from celebrities. Messages providing people with “HOPE” were the most effective. Messages from celebrities encouraging people to stay home were not as relevant to most, especially if they didn’t know that particular celebrity. People connected with a more medically-based message.

Michelle Adams, President of Marketing Brainology, explains “these methods unlock doors regarding human nature when a crisis is at hand. This information supplies invaluable data for the current situation we face as well as how we should navigate the future.” Marketing Brainology recommends we all limit the amount of COVID-19 information we watch every day.

According to Adams, “Our brains can remain emotionally healthy through this crisis. Fulling understanding and agreeing with the importance of staying home, washing our hands, and keeping social distance from those around us… people should be mindful of the amount and types of COVID-19 information being taken in and its emotional or stressful impact t may have on certain individuals. Based on this study, we are seeing stress on most people’s brains. Our neuroscience results indicate that many people are struggling to relax; especially when they close their eyes.”

To learn more about how to engage Marketing Brainology contact Michelle at