Saturday, December 26, 2015

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Does an ad that makes you cry also make you want to buy something?

Since the research about all decisions being emotional is pretty conclusive, (Vergano, 2006)  I was surprised when I stumbled upon some research yesterday that said only 12% of those surveyed indicated that advertising was influencing their holiday purchases.  I immediately thought - bad research, as did the people who commented on the article. (Glenday, 2015)

But then I saw this new ad for Gatorade.  Take a look. 

It made me cry.  But it didn't make me want to buy Gatorade.  So that made me wonder if we need to be looking a bit closer at which emotions make us want to buy things.

What do you think?  Does this ad make you want to buy Gatorade?  Do ads that make you cry make you want to buy things?  Which ones?  Are other emotions more motivating?  Why?

Vergano, D. (2006, August 6)  Study: Emotion rules the brain's decisions.  Retrieved December 18, 2015, from

Glenday, J. (2015, December 16)  Survey finds Christmas adverts influence just 12% of consumers. Retrieved December 18, 2015, from

Friday, December 11, 2015

If you design a billboard for Ford, will you also buy its cars?

A few years ago consumer generated ads were all the rage, with some companies running contests and even airing winners on the Super Bowl.  Then the fad died out, presumably because the effect on sales was negligible.  And quite honestly, none of the ads were as good as those done by professionals.  Gee what a surprise.

So when Ford announced their new "By Design" campaign, I couldn't help but wonder what they were thinking.  At least the student I knew who participated in Heinz's contest bought one bottle of ketchup.  What exactly does Ford expect to happen here?

Participants are asked to select a city and car to feature.  Once submitted, the billboard will be displayed along with the artist's name and hometown.  When the ad goes live, the creator gets their 8 second of fame, and a "selfie" of their work to send to all their friends and post on social media. (Greenberg, 2015)

So, I guess this is at heart a word-of-mouth campaign.  But will it work?  Would you create a billboard and send pics of it to your friends?  Do you know anyone who would?  Presumably the target is Millennials where the target for the previous self-made ads were Gen X.  Do you think this will impact the success or failure of the campaign?  How?

Greenberg, K. (2015, December 8)  Ford Lets Consumers Design Billboard Ads.  Retrieved December 11, 2015, from

Friday, December 4, 2015

Is using social proof the secret to getting people to save more for retirement?

For years now we've seen stories about the fact that Americans aren't saving enough for retirement.  In fact it seems like some aren't saving at all.  It's a conundrum for financial services firms.

To get people to save more, for the past four years, Prudential has been trying to educate people about behavioral barriers that are getting in their way, such as procrastination and optimism bias.  No wonder they weren't effective.

Now they have announced that they are moving on to "urging them to act now by taking steps toward retirement readiness. "  Not much of a strategy if you ask me.

But, they may actually be onto something.  What they have done is to create a "Race for Retirement."  They have introduced a specific goal -- saving an additional 1%, and have created this website, which encourages people to take a pledge to achieve it.  And, it is keeping track of how many people take the pledge and how much money would be saved if they actually follow through.

Oh and did I mention that they are capturing names and email addresses when you sign up?

Interesting approach.  Take a look at the website and tell me what you think.  Would this approach encourage you to save more?

Gazdik, T. (2015, December 4)  Prudential Effort Encourages More Retirement Savings.  Retrieved December 4, 2015, from