Why do Some Ads Make You Buy – and Others Turn You Away?

Have you seen the commercial with the guy in the toll booth? The guy takes a sly look back and forth, pulls out an Almond Joy candy bar, and palm trees suddenly fill the booth. It’s a well-executed ad, but why does the “unwrap paradise” theme not work for me?

One other thing I should mention: I like Mounds candy bars, the companion product in the ad. Maybe I’m just not motivated by the thought of plastic palm trees popping-up around my desk. Maybe it’s something else: That ad doesn’t really touch my senses – except that I do perceive the texture and scent of plastic palm branches when I see that ad.

Let’s try another one I’ve been seeing lately:

I like York Peppermint Patties too. Why does this ad make me hungry for them, when the other ad did nothing for me? For starters, it talked about a characteristic of the product (the “chill” of peppermint in your mouth). It also visually depicted that chill with a breeze in the woman’s hair.

Another difference between the two ads: The guy in the first ad struck me as snarky. The gal in the second ad struck me as simply enjoying what she was eating.

Bottom line: Here are York Peppermind Patties Packagethe remains of the candy I bought this afternoon. Not only did the ad inspire me to buy the product, but it arguably helped me enjoy the product because I was reminded of the sensations depicted in the ad while I enjoyed the product itself.

Who knows, maybe it even planted a seed in my brain that will make me crave more of them next time I go shopping. That would be a very powerful feedback loop!

Which ad do you prefer – and more to the point: Which product would you buy?


2 thoughts on “Why do Some Ads Make You Buy – and Others Turn You Away?”

  1. I like the comparisons of the two ads. First and foremost, I agree that the peppermint commercial get’s my attention more than the almond joy/mounds.

    The girl’s eyes is the mechanism that draws you to that commercial.

    That’s just my opinion.

    Great post, thanks.


    1. Thanks for the comment Javier. You caught something I didn’t: While I was being annoyed by the plastic palm trees, you were noticing the eyes. In real life, that’s what would catch my attention too.

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