October 30, 2015 / Melissa Faudree

Think about a time when you made an important purchase. Perhaps it was something you couldn’t afford at the time but you justified it anyways. How or why were you persuaded? This was the same question I asked my friends on Facebook. In all honesty, I wasn’t too surprised with their answers. Some purchased things for happiness. Others made their purchase because they were envious of someone. Some did it merely to feel better. While others were just plain excited about a new product. Here are some of their responses:


“When trying to get pregnant I kept eyeing the Pottery Barn kids elephant nursery. The moment I found out I was pregnant the bedroom set was purchased! It was a purchase from sheer joy and excitement for my baby!”

“Last week when I tried on jeans that were 2 sizes smaller than I was expecting would fit, so I bought 2 pairs because it made me happy!”

“Because logically I had one year of college left. But when I saw him first out of a litter of 10 puppies, I just knew that he would be worth it. He made me feel so happy when he looked at me and sat in my lap. He reminded me of Roxy. And the emotional response was overwhelming. To the point where I knew it meant something. Something I didn’t want to let go of. I wanted to feel that way as much and often as I could. And by taking him home, I got and get to experience that happiness everyday.”

“I bought a love sac and I was easily persuaded because it made me feel better and they were offering 0% financing.”

Emotions are very powerful and can persuade us to make decisions. When you think about advertisements, what makes some of them memorable and others not at all? Did any of the advertisements make you feel happiness, surprise, anger, sadness or disgust? Was it the product itself that you remembered or just the commercial? It is no secret that humans are emotional beings. We need to take time to consider something then decide on a course of action. Would you say it is logic that moves us? In most cases, it is our emotions that truly affect us. This is why it is important that marketers focus on using emotion to persuade you.

Many companies use a marketing approach called advertisement appeal. Advertisement appeal attracts the attention of consumers to influence how they feel towards your product or service. It is intended to captivate basic needs and wants in a positive light. The purpose of appeals is to create a stronger desire to purchase the product or service. There are numerous types of appeals that marketers use in their campaigns. Here are some of the most common advertisement appeals marketers use:

  • Emotion
  • Fear
  • Humor
  • Bandwagon
  • Rationality
  • Sex
  • Music
  • Scarcity

For the remainder of this post, I wanted to discuss 5 commercials that I found to be memorable because of the advertisement appeals they used.

1) Budweiser “Lost Dog”

For years Budweiser has been using emotion with their iconic Clydesdales. They aren’t amateurs when it comes to using the power of emotion in their commercials. Take their commercial, “Lost Dog” from the 2015 Super Bowl that highlights the power of animal friendship. The 2015 ad was a sequel from the previous year, “Puppy Love.” This is where we first meet the yellow lab puppy. The commercial shows us the unique bond between a Clydesdale and puppy. If that one didn’t pull at your heartstrings, just wait until you see “Lost Dog.”

If you haven’t seen it, you may need a tissue or two. No matter how many times I’ve seen the commercial, it still makes me teary-eyed. I’m an animal lover and know what it feels like to lose a pet. So when I saw this commercial for the first time (and every time after that) it pulled at my heart. Sometimes lost pets never come home but when they do, it is a truly joyous moment.

People love a happy ending. When you include a puppy, a really cute yellow lab in your commercial, it is going to get attention from consumers. Puppies have a way of selling themselves. They just have to sit and look cute and people will go crazy over them. Then when you create a touching storyline like this, people are really going to react.

Budweiser knew what they were doing with this commercial. It teaches you that true friends always have your back, especially in the face of danger. The storyline is something that many people can relate to which is what really made their commercial a success. It had millions of people talking about them and that’s exactly what they wanted. Sequels aren’t always a success, but in this case I think they nailed it. I secretly hope they will do another sequel for the 2016 Super Bowl. I guess we will have to wait and find out.


2) Apple iWatch: “Us”, “Up”, and “Rise”

This past spring Apple released three different ads for the new iWatch. Each of the ads shows us different ways we can use the watch in our daily lives. The “Us” commercial focuses on relationships and how people communicated through the iWatch. “Up” is how we can use the watch the stay fit and active. “Rise” focuses on your morning routine. Instead of using technology as a way to tear people away, Apple shows us that their new product will bring people together.

My personal favorite is the “Us” commercial. First, I liked that the ad didn’t need any dialog for you to understand what was going on. You watched how people communicated with the watch, whether they were good or bad things that happened. To me, it felt real. It felt like I was watching glimpses of people’s lives. It didn’t feel forced or fake.

Secondly, I liked how Apple showed, very subtly, how this could help us. The intention of the iWatch is to enhance your life, make it easier to do every day things. Apple clearly does not want the Watch to be just a product. They want it to be apart of your daily life. Apple always has a way of creating touching commercials but still explaining what their product does. They are subtle and that is what makes them unique.

3) AT&T: “It’s Not Complicated” Series

When these commercials first came out, I remember that I stopped what I was doing so I could hear what the children were going to say. Every commercial always asked a small group children one question. Their answers were candid. While I don’t have any children myself, I still know how unpredictable and funny they can be. Sometimes they try to sound mature when they explain something, but it doesn’t always turn out that way. Kids also have a way of letting their imaginations run wild.

I think AT&T did a good job at capturing the essence of children. A man asked a group of kids one basic question and their imaginations seem to soar. I think what AT&T did well was they didn’t slam information down your throat in a short amount of time. They weren’t trying to say they were better than competitors. They simply were trying to bring awareness to consumers in a unique and humorous way. AT&T wanted consumers to know that their network was not complicated. Simple and easy to understand.

The only thing I wish they had done differently is played these ads less frequently. I think some people became annoyed after they continued to replay these commercials over and over. They could have also shown two different commercials and left it at that. One once humorous commercial turned irritating to some.


4) McDonald’s: “Pay With Lovin”

Recently McDonald’s has been trying to find different ways to market to gain attention. This commercial aired during the 2015 Super Bowl. It showed clips of customers having to pay for their meals by using an act of love instead of money. Some people hugged a family member and others were asked to call someone to say ‘I love you.’ It was a campaign that only select customers had the opportunity to participate in between the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day.

I liked the idea behind this, if you do/say something nice, you are able to get a free meal in return. However, I know McDonald’s isn’t the only company to attempt a campaign like this. So I wouldn’t necessarily say it is unique because I’ve seen Qdoba with a Valentine’s Day campaign where customers had to kiss one another to receive free meals. I think paying for the commercial to air during the Super Bowl is what truly gave them to attention and business they wanted.

Campaigns such as this encourage consumers to visit your store, with the chance that they might receive a free meal. It also allows people to connect. I think McDonald’s thought they were doing something that would make a small difference in not only the lives of their customers but their employees too. It offered more personal interaction and engagement than normal.



5) Chevrolet: “Maddie”

Of course I had to include another animal commercial! If you thought “Lost Dog” was a tearjerker, just wait until you see this one. Chevy’s commercial shows us the friendship between a woman and her dog. It highlights their memories as they have gone through everything together, including learning how to drive, breakups and college. The unique thing about the commercial is it goes in reverse. The opening scene leads you to believe that this woman is at the veterinarian to say goodbye her best friend and the ending has her picking out the golden retriever.

You can’t beat the friendship of your pooch. Your dog becomes your best friend and someone you can always count on to make you feel better. The commercial is trying to connect with consumers. They wanted you to remember it. They knew animal lovers would remember the storyline.

However, not everyone responded well to this commercial. Some people didn’t understand what a dog had to do with cars. Others thought it was a terrible way to use emotions. However, the commercial never actually aired, but it still went viral on the Internet. It had plenty of people talking about Chevrolet regardless of if it was aired on television or not.


Emotions are powerful and are an important part of any marketing strategy. People will remember your advertisement if you add emotion. It makes you real. Once you add a human touch to your advertisements, it allows for more people to connect and relate to you. Also I think using a subtle approach to your ad will gain attention from consumers. People don’t like to be sold on a product or service.

What are some of your favorite commercials? Tell us what made them memorable.

Posted In: Blog, Marketing