Taking Advantage of Our Emotions This Season

During the Super Bowl, advertisers take advantage of the game’s huge TV audience, and in recent years have been using ad content to engage customers online through social media. This strategy can also be seen during the holidays, when consumers are scouring the Internet, sales pages and TV spots in search of the best deals for gifts and general holiday inspiration.

Advertisers recognize that the holidays can be an emotional time and use it to their advantage. It’s all about making memories, hosting a party that friends and family won’t forget or giving the perfect gift. Sometimes, however, that can backfire. Thanks to social media, TV spots can live long after an ad run ends. If your ad offends or is seen as controversial, your company will see a big social media engagement boost – but it won’t be positive.

When appealing to customers during a holiday, remember these tips:
• Find common ground. There’s so much to experience during the holidays, so focus on experiences that are commonly shared across large audiences.
• It all usually ends in happiness. So, try to find a holiday ad that doesn’t end with someone or a group of people expressing happiness.
• Motivate. Ultimately, you are an advertiser and the whole reason you are advertising it to get consumers to take action. Appealing to emotions (sentimentality, happiness, compassion, good cheer) will resonate with customers and move them to purchase or give.

What are the Obsidian team’s favorite holiday ads so far? Take a look:

Lauren: Petco – Guinnea Pig Gift Card

Crissy: Dick’s Sporting Goods – ‘From me to You’

Calinda: Apple – “Someday at Christmas”

Kerri: Petco – Riley’s Sweater

Courtney: Best Buy – Beats “Don’t blow it”

Sarah S: Toys ‘R’ Us – “Exactly What You wish For”


Sarah L: Walmart – ‘Merry Little Wish List’

Murray: Samsung – Kristen and Dax: Home for the Holidays

Ali: Apple iPad Pro – A Great Big Universe