“For more years than I can remember I have used the same shampoo: Head & Shoulders. Ridiculous, isn’t it? I mean it’s a shampoo to remove dandruff, which it does. But I’ve no hair, let alone dandruff! Still, I love Head & Shoulders. I won’t buy or use anything else.”
This is a quote from the book Lovemarks, used to exemplify what it means to love a brand or product – an emotional reaction epitomizing why companies market products. The author of the book, Kevin Roberts (CEO Saatchi & Saatchi) states the end goal of advertising is to have customers saying “I love [insert brand name here]” and meaning it in their heart of heart.
Don’t believe a person can feel real love for an inanimate product? Try taking away a teen’s cellphone as punishment for a day and tell me that they don’t instantly feel their world crashing down on them.
Marketers who know the power of love constantly use it to persuade customers. Below is a list of some of the most obvious and/or manipulative examples where advertisers did just that.
Be warned that once you see a few of these examples and start paying attention to advertising, you’ll notice the concept of love referenced all the time.
Subaru (Dog) – Starting with the sappiest commercial of this century. Clearly designed to pull at viewers’ heartstrings, encouraging them to seize the day. Subaru’s tagline is, “Love. It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru” and boy do they milk that slogan for all its worth. Here is another ad by Subaru to suit your fancy if dogs don’t appeal to you: Subaru (Father-Daughter)
Lowe’s – Don’t need to watch more than 15 seconds of this three-minute commercial to know exactly where they are going with it. In summary, it is a story of two youngsters and their personified houses falling in… you guessed it… love! Tagline is: “Sometimes all a house needs is a little love.”
Extra (Proposal) – Another set of commercials competing for sappiest advertising of all time. The best part is when the young love-birds are fighting and then make up over a stick of Extra gum (0:50). Pretty sure no time in history has an argument ever been resolved that way. Like Subaru ads above, here is an alternative Father-Daughter version regarding a similar concept.
Apologies for the cynicism, but the list above skips over myriads of qualifying advertisements for jewelry, baby-products, pet-products, and travel products. It’s just too easy to spot their blatant exploitation of humans’ desire to attain love. A stronger sense of genuineness would bode their brand well, but one feels this topic more appropriate for a future blog post.
Try spotting more marketing attempts to manipulate viewers into feeling love over a product, and share with us. My guess is that it won’t take you long!
–Lee Sumner, Sr. Research Manager