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This Is Why Christmas Ads Make You so Emotional

"I'm not crying—YOU'RE crying!'

The festive season has arrived, and although there is a lot of good things to be said for this time of the year, there is also marketing manipulation through Christmas songs (which consumers think make people spend more) and Christmas ads.

Over the years, you have probably seen at least a handful of Christmas ads (John Lewis & Partners' ads are a good example) that pulled at your heartstrings or left you wiping away a tear, and this is exactly what companies want. Heather Andrew of consumer neuroscience specialists Neuro-Insight, told The Independent, “Our brains love a story, particularly including puzzles with question and answer patterns.”

Brands have figured out what works; the recipe for success often includes animals in the storyline, a catchy song that will have consumers singing, long after the ad finishes and a “feel good factor,” the publication reports. Although some people are left feeling positive after seeing these ads, others feel as though they have been manipulated. According to Moirae, an overwhelming emotional reaction is more likely to get an individual to share the advert with friends or family, or on social media. This creates word of mouth, greater brand awareness, and helps companies to sell their products. But it can also result in a feeling of emotional blackmail and is a manipulative way to get people to spend money.

Brands want people to feel positive about them, and during the Christmas season, they also tend to align themselves with good causes, for example, John Lewis joining forces with The Wildlife Trusts for Christmas in 2016. According to assistant marketing professor Ela Veresiu, is a "cause marketing” approach. She told CBC, "It really is trying to tell a story that people will connect with so that when people see that brand, and later are making a purchasing choice, it leaves them with a positive feeling about that brand."

Clever marketing or manipulation? You decide!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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