MK 354 Spring 2010

March 1, 2010

emotional – thank you mom.

Filed under: blog #5 — Tags: , , , , — marissagkelley @ 1:20 pm

This past month, the entire world turned its focus toward Vancouver, Canada for the 2010 Winter Olympic games. And what better platform for advertisers to make their impression than the equivalent of a worldwide Superbowl event? In the midst of a diverse television audience that is seeking entertainment by impressive feats of athleticism, how does a company like Proctor and Gamble make people care about mundane products like toothpaste and spray cleaner?

The approach that the company took fits the strategies cited in the chapter on emotion in Made to Stick.  The “Thank You Mom” commercial plays a sequence of powerful clips of Olympian moms cheering on their children as they compete. As inspirational music plays, the copy reads “Is there anything better than being a U.S. Olympian? Actually, there is. Being that Olympian’s mom. Thank you Mom. “

This campaign illustrates the old advertising strategy of selling the benefit of the benefit. Although P&G represents companies that sell everyday household necessities, it recognizes that paper towels and laundry detergent do not inspire an emotional reaction from their viewers. Instead, P&G sells the inspiring image of the loving mother: always there, rooting for her children and providing them with everything they need to succeed.  It’s selling the end result of a mom who has every P&G product that she needs to function during her busy day, so that she can focus on the things that really matter. With this highly effective ad comes the message: Moms, we are here to support you, so that you can focus on supporting your children.

Not only does this campaign illustrate selling the benefit of the benefit, it also appeals to self-interest. Everyone in the world has a mother, and knows the strength of a mother’s love. This commercial tugs at heartstrings by playing images we are all familiar with that express loving care and support. It invokes feelings of pride in its audience in the same way that the Don’t Mess With Texas campaign did.

By making an emotional appeal, Proctor & Gamble fulfilled its objective to position their brand as a trusted, dependable choice for all consumers. Essentially, the commercial used emotion to align the company with world-class Olympian athletes as a fellow champion.


“In the Arms of an Angel”

Filed under: blog #5 — cathleendbombard @ 1:02 pm

“You’re in the arms of an angel; may you find some comfort here,” is the tune my friend immediately hummed when we were talking about the current ASPCA television commercial. She isn’t the only one. Most people think of Sarah McLachlan’s “In the Arms of an Angel” song we have all come to know and the images of beaten and abused animals when referring to the ASPCA.

“In the Arms of an Angel” is an emotional song, written in a slow and solemn tone. Its lyrics refer to death and loneliness.  This song mixed with images of abused animals allows for the audience to relate on an emotional level, as death and loneliness are also part of being human.

The message of the ASPCA commercials hits viewers emotionally, not only because of the somber song, but also because of the images: fluffy cats and big-eared puppies with severe injuries.

The audience is able to visually see the animals and their injuries, being able to visualize the animals instead of hearing statistics. They become aware of the reality of animal abuse in the United States and believe that people should create change.  “Made to Stick,” chapter five, states that beliefs are not enough. For people to take action, they have to care.  The song coupled with the photos gives the audience reasons to care. Because the audience cares, they will be more likely remember the commercial and take action.

For more information or to donate, please visit the ASPCA Web site:

YOU can shine!

Filed under: blog #5 — Jackies blah-g @ 12:34 pm

Everyday we are bombarded with many commercials in which the companies and brands are so focused on the product that the message is unclear. Rarely do we find something that Heath and Heath would deem “unique,” to the point that a viewer will remember why that one message was able to stick.

In Made to Stick, Heath and Heath touch upon the use of emotional appeal in order for a message or idea to stick. One technique that the authors touch upon is appealing to a person’s self-interest. It is in the interest of the company or speaker to let the audience know, “What’s in it for you?” (WIIFY)

 Pantene Pro-V is a division of Procter and Gamble that distributes shampoos, conditioners and many other hair care products. Even though washing hair is lower on the Maslow hierarchy as a basic need, Pantene must appeal to its audience so that its product sales remain consistent.

In an advertisement spot in Thailand, Pantene Pro-V used an emotional approach to reach its target audience. The commercial involved the progression of a young girl through her childhood learning to play the violin. Her muse came from a local street artist that played the violin. When she is a teenager, she is constantly chastised for not being talented enough to compete in a competition and told that she should quit. She returns to her muse and seeks guidance to become a better musician. As the story progresses she competes in the competition and overcome the obstacles that she had to endure and just play with her heart. The tagline of the advertisement is: You Can Shine.

 At first glance, we don’t realize that it is a commercial for hair care products. We start to develop an emotional attachment to the commercial and apply it to our own obstacles that we had to endure through our own childhoods.  This relates back to Heath and Heath’s example of Caples and his print-advertising headline: “They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano….But When I Started to Play!” The mentors and friends laughed at her when she came to play her violin, but in the end she received a standing ovation.

Shockingly the commercial is four minutes long and it definitely keeps you interested until the end. The emotional appeal in this case was successful. Question is, would you buy the product?

Filed under: blog #5 — michaelryan89 @ 12:24 pm

Pampers has teamed up with Unicef to create an opportunity to give life to those who have to fight for it without even knowing. According to the Pampers website, the 2009 1 Pack = 1 Vaccine program provided funding “for over 31 million tetanus vaccines, helping UNICEF protect mothers and their newborns in less industrialized nations from this devastating disease.” That is absolutely massive. I think the one aspect that really strengthened the great support was the advertisements.

  The ads are very simple. They are the same ones that are shown all over the world, with only the text being translated. It depicts a series of mothers from third world nations holding their newborn babies and hugging and kissing them. At the same time, a very slow and unadorned version of the “Happy Birthday” song is sung in the background. The philosophy of the commercial is reminiscent of what Chip and Dan Heath have to say in the “Emotional” chapter of Made to Stick. They talk about how people know that people suffer all over the world but it doesn’t necessarily result with them giving to charities. We need to understand the Mother Teresa effect. Mother Teresa once said, “If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.” This can be applicable to this situation as well. People would not act if Pampers was to give money to an organization that helped to do research to find a way to end poverty. That is just too complicated and not on target. The people at Pampers realized that mothers buy most of its products and that mothers all around the world could relate to one another through their children. From there, creating advertisements that show how their money is being used to save the lives of other mothers and babies creates empathy.  The commercials speak directly to mothers, creating a sense of duty and comradery. That’s probably why the program’s been so successful because it’s on point and invokes emotion in its target. It could also be because it’s for a great cause too. 🙂

Negating Emotion

Filed under: blog #5 — Tags: , , — morganhowell @ 12:01 pm

When it comes to emotion, few things engender more of it than death at a young age. So when Allstate set out to make an ad to convince teens to drive safer, they had all of that emotion on their side, right? Yes, they did. And they did a good job of communicating it:

“Every year, 6,000 teens go out on a drive,” says the announcer, with a pause for emphasis, “And never come back.” Well jeez, that sure is powerful. And look at all those cars! Look at the naïve teens, driving to certain death, without a care in the world! If I were a parent that sure would make me want my teenage son or daughter to drive safer. But I’m not a parent—I’m one of the teens! And for all I know, the next time I sit behind the wheel could be my last! That should be enough motivation for me to slow down, right? Well, maybe.

This ad came out late in 2007, when there were just fewer than 5,000 teenage driving deaths, according to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (the statistic cited in the ad was apparently incorrect, as I found that there hasn’t been close to 6,000 deaths since 2002). And in 2008, there were just over 4,000 deaths—the number went down, so the ad was at least somewhat effective, right? It’s hard to say. The number of deaths has been decreasing since the late 1970s when the number was nearly 10,000.

Judging from the hard data, the Allstate ad, while emotionally powerful, can in no way be responsible for preventing very many deaths. But why is this? Well, it seems to me like Allstate didn’t know its target market very well. Teenagers have a deep-rooted distrust of authority, be it their parents, teachers, or insurance company. Just like the “Please Don’t Litter” signs in Texas, this ad is preaching to the choir. To pierce through a teenager’s tough and distrusting skin, you have to be more cunning. You have to make a personal connection without sounding like someone’s mom or dad. You have can’t sound preachy or judgmental. You have to utilize the antiauthority, focus on an individual, and not sound like a broken record (maybe something like, “Hey I’m Chris, I used to snowboard and skydive and do tons of crazy shit. Then one day, when I was driving to a friends house to play a video game…”). Kids are a tough crowd, especially when it comes to convincing them to stop doing something fun. If that’s your goal, the worst mistake you could make would be to tell them not to do it—everyone who’s ever been 16 understands that. Unfortunately, we’ve got to get past the Curse of Knowledge first.

Come On Airlines!

Filed under: blog #5 — kathrynflynn @ 8:42 am

An old advertising adage states that you have to spell out the benefit of the benefit of your product, or service, for your consumers. One industry that has a definite need to sell not just its service, but also the benefits of its service, is the airline industry.  When someone buys a ticket on an airline, what he or she is paying for is not the stiff, leather seat or the re-heated food, but rather that person is paying for the opportunity to see someone face-to-face, or to experience a new place.  In a world of video chats and Google image searches, it is easy to justify not spending the large some of money required to fly somewhere else to make a business deal or see an old friend, when those things are possible instantly and for free in every person’s home or office. But flying gives people the opportunity to go out for drinks after a business deal or give a loved one a hug. That opportunity is what people buy when they buy an airline ticket; they do not buy a flight.  So why do airlines continue to advertise their fights and not what they are actually selling? Why does no airline actively sell a handshake or a hug?

It seems to me as if no service provider is more poised for such an effective emotional campaign than an airline. While most airlines do show pictures of glitzy Caribbean resorts or ski slopes, I was unable to find a campaign by JetBlue, Delta, American Airlines, United, Southwest or Continental Airlines that showed the personal connection that their consumers gain by flying. All campaigns revolve around “Lots of leg room!” and “9” TVs in the back of every seat!” or “Helpful and experienced crew!” And while these things might make me more comfortable while flying, I would hope that the fact that there would be a “Helpful and experienced crew” on board my flight goes without saying.

People want to fly on the airline that can get them safely to their grandkids, or can get them on time to a corporate office, or can allow them to see their boyfriend after he’s been deployed for 18 months. The potential emotional weight of a campaign like that is awesome. One might exist or have existed that I am not privy to, which is unfortunate, because I fly across the country at least once a month and I am definitely in the target audience.

Emotional: ThinkB4YouSpeak PSA

Filed under: blog #5 — ElizabethOstebo @ 7:37 am

The primary idea that resonated with me in chapter five of Made to Stick is that “Feelings inspire people to act” (Heath 169). Chip and Dan Heath emphasize that emotional messages compel people to care, and eventually take action, more so than messages that merely make the audience think.

In 2008 the Ad Council and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network launched a public service advertisement campaign that urges people, especially teens, to stop using the phrase “that’s so gay” to describe something as bad, dumb or stupid. Besides the Web site, print ads and radio spots, the ThinkB4YouSpeak campaign has three television commercials. One of the commercials features actress Hilary Duff. claims that “A little star power never hurt,” but to what extent does Hilary Duff’s celebrity status make the “think before you speak” message stick in the minds of teenage viewers? And how does the PSA use an emotional call to action?

Well, it doesn’t. Although the commercial uses an authority figure to give the message some credibility, an emotional appeal doesn’t seem to be present. Similar to the Philip Morris antismoking ads, ThinkB4YouSpeak asks the audience to put on the “Analytical Hat” to think about the issue and make a logical choice. In general, the ThinkB4YouSpeak ads ask us to think about what it feels like when other people use a part of our identity as an insult, rather than actually make us feel what it’s like.

Sure, the celebrity component of the PSA garners attention and the message “When you say, ‘that’s so gay’ do you realize what you say?” makes us think. But the prompt to care enough about the issue to act is vague and borderline nonexistent.

ThinkB4YouSpeak Web site:

Ad Council – Think Before You Speak overview:

Filed under: blog #5 — pmitch1 @ 3:42 am

The following spot for Thai Life Insurance is one of my favorite commercials and perhaps the only advertisement ever to make me genuinely sad after watching.

The depth of emotion that this commercial conveys is astonishing.  Thai Life could have found some statistics about how much coverage they offer or how low their rates are, but that would cause people to think analytically.  According to authors Dan and Chip Heath’s book “Made to Stick”, “When people think analytically, they’re less likely to think emotionally.” (p.167).  Emotion is invariably more powerful than analytics; I guarantee this commercial will stick with you longer than some Allstate spot that compares their rates to their competitors.  Inclusion of these statistics would have softened the emotional reaction to the tragedy in the advertisement.

The creators of this advertisement tapped into something very relatable, a son longing for his father’s recognition and acceptance.  Everyone has had a person that they looked up to or tried to impress and we all known the pain of that person rejecting us.  The hurt from this rejection is so strong and relatable that as soon as we are presented it in the advertisement, even with limited context, we empathize with the son and truly wish that his father would accept him.  The Heath brothers cite the creation of empathy for individuals as one of the key ways to establish an emotional connection, and this commercial does that beautifully (p.203).

It is truly a masterpiece of direction and exposition when in under a minute the viewer has a strong enough connection with a character to actually feel depressed upon learning his fate.  This is another reason why this commercial stands out; the viewer feels genuine anguish.  Rarely does an ad evoke any real emotion, let alone something as profound and affecting as sadness.  In an advertising environment where so much emphasis is put on repetition and getting people to remember inane slogans, poignant, well-made spots such as this one are a breath of fresh air.

February 28, 2010

Don’t Text and Drive, K?

Filed under: blog #5 — Tags: , , , , — Zach Cole @ 2:30 am

Sure, it seems like common sense to most of us: texting on your phone while driving is a bad decision. It causes car crashes, injuries and deaths. It is particularly dangerous for young, inexperienced drivers who are already more prone to car accidents than older generations. But texting is just so easy and convenient. And sometimes you just have to tell your bff that you cnt rlly talk, but ur on ur way.

So the question is, are those little everyday texts actually worth putting your life on the line? According to one particular British public service announcement, the answer is a resounding and horrific “no!” The video, which was rumored to have been banned from American airwaves due to graphic content, unfolds much like a short film. Three cheery girls are driving around, and just as the driver takes her eyes off the road to send a text message, she swerves into the next lane, crashing into a car coming the opposite direction. It doesn’t end there – the girls’ car is then blindsided by another oncoming car, sending all three into a hellish spin, complete with shards of glass, bloody foreheads and snapped necks. Her two friends die. The passengers of the other cars die.

Not only is this unexpected (few car crashes are depicted with such detail), but it is scary. The viewer fears allowing this sort of incident to ever occur and subconsciously vows to never text and drive. Chip and Dan Heath note that getting someone emotionally invested in an idea is a sure way to make the idea stick (167). However, the mere shock and fear factor of the car crash here is just the tip of the emotional iceberg.

One of the best ways to get someone emotionally attached to an idea is to speak to their interests. The viewer/listener must understand the benefits of the benefits that can be reaped from a particular idea (Heath, 179). In the case of the British PSA, marketers want teenage drivers to understand the benefits of the benefits of not texting while driving. They clearly express the idea that drivers who do not text while driving are far less likely to get into a car crash – that’s the immediate benefit. But what is the benefit of not getting in a car crash? The answers to this are obvious and plenty, but most importantly, the answers are poignantly detailed in the PSA. You won’t kill your friends if you don’t get in a car crash. You won’t kill a young child’s parents and baby sister if you don’t get in a car crash. The list goes on and on.

The marketers responsible for the PSA knew what they were doing when they tapped into the emotions of the audience. The viewer takes away an immediate sense of fear from this PSA. But thanks to the director’s keen understanding of emotional attachment to ideas, the viewer also takes away a sense of the benefits – all of them – that come from driving safely. That is why the images in this PSA are sticky and stay with the viewer long after the clip ends.

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