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Emotive Marketing: Do Christmas Ads Manipulate You?
November 22, 2017 By Alex
The Christmas ads we know today revolve around the idea of emotive marketing and have become a tradition that marks the start of the holiday season. But is emotive marketing appropriate? And is it effective?
Emotive marketing is something that closely relates to people and makes them feel overly emotional, you will often find that charities take advantage of this technique, showing you images of distressed animals or children to make you feel sad and empathetic and convince you to donate.
It has now become popular for Christmas ads to use this technique in order to inspire the ‘Christmas spirit’ within people, which in many ways means ‘start shopping for Christmas’. However, other than the underlining message, emotive marketing can be effective in other ways.
A significant amount of people only know the John Lewis brand because of their Christmas ads. The brand recognition that comes along with these Christmas adverts is massive because of how emotive marketing affects people.
Recently, companies have perfected the use of emotive marketing within their Christmas ads. They manage to blend charming storylines, film grade production and emotional music to affect people in a certain way. An example of this is the #mozthemonster advertisement John Lewis are running this year. John Lewis are selling merchandise in store based on the advertisement.
When done correctly, emotive marketing gets people talking. If an advert can make you cry, or feel overwhelmed in the right way, it is shared around social media and spoke about. I mean, how many times in the holiday season will you hear ‘Have you seen the new John Lewis advert?’
Naturally, playing on the emotions of an audience to sell something can be controversial and these types of advertisements can run the risk of crossing the line into emotional blackmail.
An example of this is the Sainsburys 2014 Christmas ad. The advert is based on a football game that happened on Christmas day during WW1, where the English and Germans halted war to play the game. This in many ways was an emotional and uplifting Christmas tale. However, it was seen by many as an inappropriate story to use in advertisement. It can be seen as exploitation of a sensitive subject in order to sell a product or promote a brand. However, this controversy only served to make the ad even more talked about and popular.
Emotive advertisement is a great way to get people talking, it can result in brand awareness and can be used to sell products, but advertisements must be aware of the backlash it can receive. If the subject is too controversial, brand image may become tarnished because of it. Emotive marketing uses people's emotions to sell and at Christmas, it is the perfect manipulative tool to use to get people buying.
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