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


  1. I think the ad was a good ad, even though it didn't make me cry. It also didn't make me want to buy Gatorade. Commercials that make me cry do not provoke me to buy their product except for maybe Hallmark commercials. I think this is because of the emotional connection you hope is affiliated between the cards and the reactions from having received one. I think a more motivating factor for me may the emotions of happiness or having a good time, lets say for a vacation spot or lounge. This appeals to me more as the experience that can be had that leads to the emotion.

  2. I'm guessing that this ad was definitely not aimed at me. I felt nothing; not even a tear. This ad didn't increase my desire to buy Gatorade one iota. It failed to create an emotional connection. As someone who played team sports and loved every minute of that experience I understand what the message is. Step aside and let someone else have their moment in the spotlight; in this case, younger players. Unfortunately, I think this emotional message doesn't work for Gatorade. You associate Gatorade with activity; not retirement.
    As far as what emotional messages worked; I'm guessing messages that are better constructed. Creating an emotional connection between the target audience and the brand or specific product perhaps. I would say it's success shouldn't just be measure if it makes you run out a buy the product immediately; I think if it stays with you so that when you're in the store, for example, you reach for that product. in other words, if the emotional commercial creates a favorable impression of the brand which late on leads to sales, it has succeeded.
    I'm not sure that there is an emotional "silver bullet" which is better for persuading people to buy something. I think it depends on the context of the message. As long as the emotion matches the message of the ad, I think it will make a connection. Now, whether that connection will lead to an ultimate sale, I'm not sure.
    -George Tsevdos

  3. To be honest, I do not know who Abby Wambach is, and therefore I couldn't understand this ad. I agree that the research which says that only 12% of participants indicated that advertising was influencing their holiday purchases. Most of the people think they make rational decisions, and they are not even aware that when their emotions control their decisions.

    For me, I would say that I do not think that touching ads really motivates people to purchase the products. However, do I really know how much does the ad influence my decision? I do not know.

    Moreover, I think fear is also a powerful emotion when it comes to persuasion. For me fear is the emotion that really makes you take action immediately.

  4. I agree that while this ad does tug at my heartstrings, it in no way influences me to go out and buy Gatorade. In fact, thinking back to some other ads that were able to stir up emotion, such as the "Puppy Love" Budweiser ad that initially aired during last year's Super Bowl, I was in no way moved to buy the product even though I was moved by the ad.

    With that said, I believe that unless the emotional ad ties into the actual product, it deems itself ineffective. For instance, if the aforementioned "Puppy Love" ad was intended to sell puppies, then I would say that it would be effective, as it may inspire me to want to get and get one. But because its purpose is to sell beer, it almost resonates with me as being a bit disingenuous.

  5. This ad didn't make me cry actually, but maybe it was because I am not that familiar with Abby... I think it was nicely done though.
    The only ads that have made me cry are the Tide Mother's day/Olympics ads when they talk about mothers. I cry every time I watch it!
    But as mentioned here before, I don't think that crying makes me want to buy the product.. Instead, I think that ads that give me happy feelings and motivate me are more effective and make me want to buy somethind. So what I can feel when I watch the Tide ad is motivation to make my mother prouod of me and to work hard for that. Not necessarily to go out and buy laundry detergent...

    Thus, I think that emotional ads are effective, but I would appeal more to happy and motivational feelings rather than too sad.

  6. I am the type of person who buys into a brand more so than a product. For example, I support Chipotle's "food with integrity" mission so much, that I chose to overlook the recent Eboli scare. In the instance of Gatorade, I am not a frequent (or even occasional) consumer, but now that I know they align with female empowerment, I will be more inclined to buy a Gatorade when I'm buying an energy drink, etc.

    As I've learned from this class, there's a reason I didn't see this add, however: I am not a consumer. I wonder what network this aired on?

    -Gabi Wuhl

  7. This ad was clearly targeted towards athletes who aspire to be better than the best. While I feel it was a well put together commercial, If Gatorade's logo wasn't on the beginning screen I would not have known what the commercial was about. The narrative behind the storyline also did not make me cry, it just made me feel a sense of empowerment in hopes of being the best. Also ad's that make me cry do not make me want to buy the product, they allow me to dwell on what I just watched on make me want to change the channel, flip the page or skip the next ad as a whole. Some ads that make you cry could also encourage your purschase like ads for feed the children, I cry every time I see them because the circumstances shown are unfortunate, and most are then compelled to donate. Other emotions would be happiness, if happiness is shown through a product, most will purchase it.

  8. I’m one of those people who cry at their desks after watching a touching video on Facebook, on the news, movies, etc. – it doesn’t take much for me. However, when I saw the ad for Gatorade, my eyes were rolling violently. Abby Wambach , if you want the next generation to be so great they forget you, don’t advertise for Gatorade!!!

    Hate to be a “Negative Nancy,” but Gatorade only removed BVO from their drinks after bowing to public pressure. If “we” didn’t make a stink, they wouldn’t have changed a thing. For those that don’t know, brominated vegetable oil (BVO) acts as an emulsifier in citrus-flavored drinks. Bromines are endocrine disruptors, which can build up in human tissues and leads to reproductive and behavioral issues.

    Ads that make me cry doesn’t mean I’m going to buy the product. I think what it does is get my attention so I look into it. I really wonder how all the “emotional” marketing is going to play out. Will we get immune to it? I think we’re headed in that direction. Everything has to be about tugging on our emotions. If it is genuine, I’m all for it. But when it’s not, it does the opposite for me – I get completely turned off and will not ever trust the product or company. I think companies need to be accountable for their products as well as their ads. If they want to connect on an emotional level yet their products are harmful, they are opening themselves up for much scrutiny.

  9. Ads that make me cry (and I'm an emotional person so I shed a tear a lot when watching commercials) do not make me want to buy the product at all. It just shows that the creators are great storytellers but sometimes ads forget to talk about the product itself. The story could be powerful but I am not buying the story, I am buying the product. If I wanted to buy the story then I can buy a book or movie that can do the same thing. What these emotional ads actually do for me is make me want to share the commercial with friends.

    -Sweta P.

  10. The ad for Gatorade didn’t make me cry, maybe because I’m the wrong target for this product and ad. I’m not a sports athlete nor would never purchase Gatorade.

    Although there are few ads that made me cry and therefore influence my buying decisions. For instance all the P&G’s “Thank You Mom” commercials definitely got to me and made me cry. As a result, this also made me want to purchase their products as opposed to other brands as I want to support them because I feel like they understand me. I think other emotions such as trust and security are also motivating factors. When you trust a product and feel secure that their product will not fail you I think that is a big motivating factor to purchase the products even if it means they are more expensive than the competition – at least for me I don’t mind paying more for products I trust and feel secure with.

    Girlie E. Gaviola

  11. I think the add was very emotional and very well executed. But I personally do like or drink gatorade so I would not buy it.Even though I like the commercials I would not buy products that I do not like.

  12. I agree with you Prof. This ad made me teary ( not cry ) but it didnt make me want to purchase Gatorade. I am already a large and aid consumer of Gatorade. Nonetheless, I did not feel moved with regards to my purchasing mindset. An ad that clicked with me was the Gatorade campaign thatembodied teamwork, athleticism, and power. This was a bit too solemn and less attractive of a cult.