In any advertising or business strategy class, one will learn that there are many different ways to get an audience to purchase your product. One of the most popular facets of advertising is the emotional appeal.

More and more companies nowadays are using emotional appeal to get their products media attention. This video, created by Extra Gum, for example, has nearly 1 million views on youtube in two short weeks. Although the commercial says nothing about the tastiness or long-lasting flavor of the gum, it boasts the idea that if you buy Extra gum, you will make long-lasting memories with your family.

I can just picture the executives at Extra thinking: “Long-lasting flavor or Long-lasting relationship?” Obviously, they opted for the latter. Smart move.

In fact, the Houston Chronicle explored this tactic in a recent article about emotional appeal. In the article ( the author pointed out that “Although the range of human emotions is enormous, Aristotle settled on 14 prime positive and negative emotions 2,500 years ago that are manipulated to this day in appeals to persuade. Aristotle’s 14 emotions are: anger, mildness, love, enmity, fear, confidence, shame, shamelessness, benevolence, pity, indignation, envy, emulation and contempt.”

Advertisers use these emotions to invoke a sense of resemblance between those in the commercial and the viewer.

Well, it worked. Extra’s commercial hit home for Americans because nearly 21.8 million students left home for college this year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. I was among those 21.8 million; returning for my second year at college.

Props to Extra for using emotional appeal to reach their audience. What a great commercial. I’m not sure if I will buy their gum anytime soon, but the commercial definitely got their name out there.


Using My Emotions Against Me: Part One

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