Thursday, September 10, 2009

Do you get emotional about cream cheese?


Here comes more evidence that advertisers are taking the research about the role that emotions play in decision-making seriously. (Shiv & Fedorikhin, 1999)

Philadelphia cream cheese, the category leader, has announced that their new television campaign will focus on the “moments created by Philadelphia cream cheese”. The stated goal is to get consumers thinking about the product more often by showing bonding moments between loved ones such as a boy spreading cream cheese on a bagel for his mom. (Wong, 2009)

What do you think? Will watching a girl making dessert with her grandmother persuade you to indulge in this high fat treat more often?

Shiv, B.& Fedorikhin, A. (1999, December). Heart and Mind in Conflict: The Interplay of Affect and Cognition in Consumer Decision Making. Journal of Consumer Research, 278-292

Wong, E. (2009, September 3). Why Kraft is ‘Pheeling’ Good About Cream Cheese. Retrived September 9, 12009, from


  1. It is an interesting idea -- certainly an attempt at making some emotional connection. I used to eat cream cheese and now I don't -- not because of fat content. I just don't think about it. Perhaps flashing memories would put it more in my mind as an option. Of course, it could have the reverse effect and bring up some very unhappy memories about cream cheese!

  2. I believe Philadelphia is taking a very smart route in order to attract consumers to their cream cheese. Withdrawing that inner emotional connection from the customer is a highly effective tool in getting them to, at least subconsciously, relate to the ad and buy the product. Who cares about the high-fat content if it's going to bring together you and your family for a delicious experience? By using wholesome images such as the "grandmother's dessert" example, Philadelphia can trigger a nostalgic memory or a desire to share a unifying treat. As someone who used to make strawberry cheesecake with her sister when she was younger, I definitely could see how a commercial that advertises the simple comfort behind sharing cream cheese, inevitably hits home.

  3. Yes, I think this type of campaign will work for the same reasons that emotional eating makes this country fatter. I often have issues with commercials that strongly link emotions to food.

    While I understand that baking with family, making holiday meals with loved ones, etc, can make for a special moment, I think that capitalizing on the emotional involvement of these activities is a manipulative message as well. Advocating or promoting an emotional link to food will only increase the weight problem with our country. And, while I also understand that cream cheese companies also need to make money, I have a small moral issue with that kind of advertising. But yes, it will work.