Puso at Pera: How Emotions Influence Consumer Behavior

When it comes to ads, we like to believe that we are rational and objective decision-makers. We say this because we take consideration of information like product features, competing brands, value for money, and other such mental processes.

The truth is, aside from all our rationalizations, our emotions still greatly influence the decisions we make on a daily basis.

In his book Descartes Error, Antonio Damasio, a professor of neuroscience, argued that emotion is a necessary ingredient to our decisions. According to Damasio, when people are confronted with a decision, emotions from past experiences influence our opinion on the subject. These emotions thus create bias or preferences which lead to our final decision.

Consumer behavior studies have also found that we use personal feelings and experiences when evaluating brands more than hard information like brand attributes and facts. Strong emotions may even convince us to make expensive purchases or donate money to causes we perceive are worthy. This means that our actions are actually influenced more by our emotional reception of an ad rather than its content.

Emotional Advertising

In general, emotional ads are short stories taken from everyday relatable experiences.

In the Philippines, stories about family and relationships are popularly used when creating emotional storylines or ‘hugot’ for ads. They aren’t really new on the airwaves; brands have been using emotional appeal in their ads for the longest time. However, it could be said that brands are revolutionizing emotional ads recently as they tend to focus more on the story or the people in the ad while the product takes a back seat.

Here are some memorable examples of emotional ads in the Philippines:

Coke’s ‘Happiest Thank You’

Coca-Cola released their Happiest Thank You ad in September 2014 as a part of the Share A Coke campaign. It documented the real stories of ordinary people, those who we usually call generic names like “Ate,” “Kuya,” or “Boss,” or “Totoy,” as they were given a personalized Coke bottles with their real name as a thank you for making everyone’s lives a little better each day.

Jollibee’s ‘Kwentong Jollibee’

‘Kwentong Jollibee’ is a Valentine series released by the fast food chain this 2017. It features 3 stories, namely Vow, Crush, and Date. Each story showed an unconventional take on celebrating love but nonetheless captured the hearts of many. Since its release, Filipinos have taken to social media about their reactions, and has even received recognition from other countries.

McDonald’s ‘Tuloy Pa Rin’

McDonald’s first installment of the Tuloy Pa Rin campaign was in June of 2016 where Elisse Joson’s break up story shook Filipino viewers. Following the story a year later, Kaya Niya, Kaya Mo features the love team McLisse (Elisse Joson and McCoy De Leon) as they continue the story of moving on and forward.

At the end of the day, as much as we want to reason that we are logical and objective consumers, letting our emotions take over is natural. It allows us to experience connecting with other people through something as simple as an ad. The key is to understand and acknowledge these emotions, and only then will we be fully aware of our purchasing decisions.









Ad screenshots taken from YouTube.com