Sweet heart

Today I would like to talk about exploiting the theme of relationships in advertising. I consider 3 main aspects about this type of advertisements: 1) motivation, 2) emotions, 3) values.

The basic theory used by marketers that comes to my mind is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1970). The level of love/belonging is well involved in the kind of commercials I’m discussing in this post. The motivation to be loved and accepted as who you are can be satisfied in different aspects such as family, friendship, personal relationship, including sexual intimacy ect. Thus, advertisements are also made to appeal to these different areas of relationships.

Furthermore, one of the crucial aspects of such adverts is creating special mood, triggering positive emotions associated with warmth and safety in close interpersonal communication. In a successful case the bind is to be built between emotions of a prospective consumer being exposed to a particular commercial and a product that is advertised. So this link is very important in making brand relationship between a brand and a consumer (Kardes et al., 2011).  Consumer feelings is one of the basic ‘stones’ in the Customer-based Brand Equity Pyramid (Keller, 2007). No brad can be developed without respect to this psychological function.

The impact of adverts portraying relationships and positioning the brad as one that in a similar sort of relationships with costumers  is very strong not only because of motivational and emotional aspects mentioned before, but also due to appealing to so called terminal values such as true friendship, family security, mature love (Pollay, 1983).

I have selected several adverts devoted to different kinds of relationships. Here they are.

This one is my favourite. It’s about close relations within the family and it makes us think that the product – Volkswagen Polo – provides us with the safety we got in our family.

This a a funny advert by Vodafone that deals with relationships in a couple:

This one is about relationships of two sisters:

This advert deals with friendship:

Here is extremely nice advert about life-long love:

A little bit sad, but beautiful advert about care of a brother towards his sister:

  1. Kardes F., Cline T., Cronley M. (2011). Consumer behavior: Science and Practice. International edition: South-Western, Cengage Learning
  2. Keller K. L. (2007). Strategic brand management: building, measuring, and managing brand equity, 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
  3. Maslow, A. H. (1970). Motivation and personality. NY: Harper
  4. Pollay, R. W. (1983). Measuring the cultural values manifest in advertising. Current issues in Advertising, 6:71-92
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4 responses

  1. After Caroline showed us all those adverts today in the lecture that involved some sort of relationship on screen between various characters, I began to think about what it is that this does to us when we see these. These adverts although lovely and charming often don’t involve anything to do with the actual product or the benefits that buying it will give us, but rather they are a way of saying “hey we care about the same things that you do”. When it comes down to it, and as you point out in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, individuals have the desire to formulate close personal relationships with others the whole “no man is an island” concept and all that.
    I think these adverts are increasing in popularity, with consumers becoming increasingly annoyed with the “hard sell” and the overly enhanced “fakery” that appears in many adverts, its refreshing to see something that appears honest and relates back to what people are actually looking for in life. With an increase in popularity of organic products and all that is natural people want to be taken away from the idea of nasty factories and mass produced products and back to what they feel is really important. Tugging on peoples heart-strings it seems does work in advertising and without even mentioning the product often induces feelings of warmth towards these brands with the implication that they do care.

  2. I agree with you in this point most companies exploiting emotions of consumer by advertisement. For instance, communication of companies’ use some phrases to effect on people like keep in touch with your family and friends, this phrases with TV commercial it will be effect on consumer’s specific student study abroad. In addition some companies exploiting felling young people. Toothpaste companies convince consumers by advertisement the smelling of mouth is significant reason to find your partner

  3. Using emotion in advertising is certainly one of the cleverest angles with which to get the consumers attention. In a way when we see an advert depicting family or relationship values we view them as role models to our own lives, therefore we process the information on a personal level (Davies, 1993). The plan, I’m assuming, then is the consumer begins to believe the key to achieving what they see onscreen is the product being advertised. For example, now we’re approaching Christmas it seems all supermarket ads are geared towards making Christmas easier, all ending with a lovely family Christmas scene. The aim here is to make you view their offering as essential to an easy joy-filled day rather than the stress that normally occurs around the holiday period.

  4. I agree with you in this point most companies exploiting emotions of consumer by advertisement. For instance, communication of companies’ use some phrases to effect on people like keep in touch with your family and friends, this phrases with TV commercial it will be effect on consumer’s specific student study abroad. In addition some companies exploiting felling young people. Toothpaste companies convince consumers by advertisement the smelling of mouth is significant reason to find your partner. (

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