Making the abstract concrete: using emotion for a data- informed content strategy - Factory Media

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Making the abstract concrete: using emotion for a data- informed content strategy

Factory Media launches its biggest and most ambitious research project to date: Mindsets.

In conjunction with leading research agency YouGov, Factory Media has built a unique tool for understanding the emotional mindsets of British consumers.

Tapping into YouGov’s Profiles dataset of over 250,000 respondents, we analysed 116 attitudinal statements, each selected for its close connection to an emotion. Using factor analysis, these emotional attitudes were grouped into 11 variables, which we’ve called Mindsets; these can now be analysed to aid media planning & buying and put emotion at the forefront of content creation.

Crucially, these mindsets create an opportunity for brands to shift away from traditional demographic targeting, to a more finely attuned targeting based on emotion. Lifestage has little bearing on most of these mindsets; neither does gender, or social grade.

The Mindsets:

  1. Identity – this mindset is about creating your own brand identity. There’s a dose of ego involved, but this way of thinking is integral to the brands we buy, and is the the mindset most closely aligned with influence.
  2. Risk-taking – as the name suggests, this is about rolling the dice, taking a chance, be that placing a bet, jumping out of a plane in a wingsuit, or taking a chance on a new and unknown brand.
  3. Open-mindedness – this is about being open to new ideas, cultures, fashion, technology – and crucially to new brands.
  4. Comfort – the idea of comfort can take many forms, but ultimately it’s about being calm, relaxed and laid-back to the point of being horizontal.
  5. Family values – when you’re thinking about your parents, your kids, your grandparents or your significant other, this is the mindset at large.
  6. Experience – this is the mindset involved in actually doing things, experiencing something for yourself.
  7. Traditionalism – certain traditions are worth maintaining. Marriage, a structured career path, buying a house – all of these contribute to this mindset.
  8. Sustainability – the sustainability mindset is about being concerned with making choices that benefit the long term, and doing things for the greater good.
  9. Longevity – if sustainability is about making choices to benefit everyone, this is about making choices to benefit yourself, and in particular living a long and healthy life.
  10. Materialism – this is about owning physical products. It’s not the mindset associated with the biggest consumer spend, but it’s about placing importance on the physical over the experiential.
  11. Restlessness – this mindset is entirely about drinking, partying, going to gigs, eating out at restaurants and spending time with friends…anything that stops you from being at home, in front of the TV.


Using this data, Factory Media can tell you the emotional mindsets that a brand’s existing or potential customers identify with, and in turn create compelling, engaging branded content that resonates on an emotional level.

The mindsets provide a useful starting point for anyone wanting to understand why people do what they do, and crucially for brands in understanding why people purchase their products.

In 2016, despite the ever-increasing numbers of methods brands can use to communicate with consumers, they are having to work harder than ever to create genuine lasting engagement.

Numerous studies have proven that utilising emotion in advertising is a great way of engaging consumers. We know that the more you feel, the more you share, and the more emotive an ad is, the more likely you are to remember it.

Our own study conducted last year, proved that ads – and in particular branded content – containing action, outdoors and adventure sports, are particularly effective at eliciting emotion from viewers.

With that in mind, we have created a unique tool for understanding the emotional mindsets of consumers, supported by robust data, that enables us to insert emotion into the planning process.

We’ve begun to utilise this data in assessing our own brands, and we’ve found that Factory Media’s audience identifies most strongly with Identity and Risk-Taking in particular, but correlates strongly with 4 of the top 5 most influential mindsets.

We are therefore perfectly positioned, both in terms of audience, and in terms of access to this data, to assist brands and agencies in creating compelling emotional content.

Each month we will be releasing fresh insights on each of these mindsets (first up will be Identity, in June), with a blog and accompanying deck providing rich insights into current trends and real-life examples of these mindsets in action…so stay tuned for more information.

If you’re interested in seeing which emotional mindsets resonate with your brand’s audiences, please get in touch with me at


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