The Joy of Feel-good Marketing and Why it Works

Why good vibes marketing works

Generating Good Vibes through Marketing

There’s no doubt that we could all use a bit more joy in our lives. The year 2020 will forever be known as a dumpster fire given the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the entire world. A survey conducted in May 2020 even found that Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in 50 years. Thus, there is an increased opportunity for brands to leverage joy marketing.

So, what is joy marketing? Joy marketing is the act of applying happiness to a brand’s messaging or a particular campaign. Read on to learn more about how harnessing joy enables your audience to feel positive emotions and better connect with your company.

Best-in-class Campaigns

The best campaigns are those that are memorable and bring a smile to our faces. Before launching your next idea, get inspired by brands that are successfully implementing joy marketing. These emotional marketing examples include:

Chewy’s Custom Pet Portraits

One bright spot of 2020? Pandemic puppies. Americans spend billions on their pets every year and research shows that 2020 was no different – with pet fostering and adoptions surging during the pandemic. is a major retailer of pet supplies and has a heartwarming way of commemorating the furry friends of its customers. The company selects customers each week to receive a colorful painting of their cat, dog or other pet. Pet owners frequently post the artwork on social media, resulting in shared joy among followers and goodwill for Chewy.

Share a Coke

Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign began in Australia and then arrived stateside a few years later. The most popular first names were printed on Coke bottles to encourage consumers to purchase and share a drink with a friend, family member or colleague. The personalised approach to product marketing got people excited to track down a bottle with the name of someone in their social circle. The tagline “Share a Coke” was simple yet effective because it inspired action. The campaign resulted in a lot of great user-generated content for the brand, with more than 500,000 images posted to social media.

Lush Cosmetics’ Lord Of Misrule

Lush Cosmetics prides itself on creating an inclusive and creative community for beauty and wellness enthusiasts. Its popular Lord Of Misrule line has a cult following and is especially sought after around Halloween. During spooky season, Lush called upon its 4 million Instagram followers to dress up as their interpretation of the Lord Of Misrule for a chance to win prizes. The social media contest brought customers to the forefront, celebrating their uniqueness while also promoting the Lord Of Misrule bath and shower products.

WestJet Christmas Miracle

The holiday season is a time of magic and wonder that brands can leverage to make their customers feel good. WestJet airline’s marketing flies to new heights with its annual Christmas Miracle The company surprises travelers with free flights to a destination of their choosing, gifts and even reunions with loved ones. While 2020 was a very different year, the airline still focused on its mission to care for its customers by donating essential items like blankets, personal protective equipment, hot meals and gifts to frontline workers, seniors, children and shelters.

The Joy of Marketing with Emotion

There are a number of ways to approach feel-good campaigns. Jumpstart joy marketing by considering the following recommendations:

Rely on relevance

Cultivating good vibes requires a relevant connection between your brand and your campaign. If your concept is out of left field, it likely won’t strike the right chord with your audience. Focus on ideas and causes that your brand is passionate about so that your excitement and energy will be evident.

Don’t use joy to compensate for a lack of joy

Your joy marketing should come from the heart. In other words, you shouldn’t launch a joy marketing campaign to offset negative press about your company or to overcompensate for recurring customer service issues, lapses in leadership’s ethics or poor environmental performance. Your customers and prospects will see through these efforts to hide the bad with a bit of good.

Communicate joy consistently

Promote happiness across numerous brand channels. There are numerous opportunities, from your company’s social media channels and website to YouTube videos and commercials to influencer partnerships and e-newsletter and direct mail campaigns. The more consistently your organisation communicates joy, the more your target audience will identify with these feelings and form positive perceptions about your brand.

The ROI of Joy

Leveraging joy marketing has the power to capture positive media coverage, humanise your brand, strengthen customer relationships, generate leads and increase employee engagement. Approaching this marketing method in the right way is essential, as your campaign needs to be able to connect with people on a deeper level. Tugging at emotional heartstrings can provide a big payoff, but also comes with its own risks. Trying to force joy marketing into a campaign that it’s not well suited for

Capture joy in your marketing program. Reach out to the team at Mulberry to learn how we can inspire your customers and prospects with your next B2B campaign or contest.


Jess Messenger is an Account Director at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She enjoys developing PR campaign strategies and writing for B2B audiences across numerous verticals such as retail, foodservice and healthcare.