Last Updated Dec 1, 2009 1:23 AM EST
According to new research from Aparna Labroo of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Derek Rucker of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, successful holiday ads send messages that help to curb the stress and anxiety many people experience during this time of year.
During the holidays, people not only want to feel happy, but calm as well. These are the two key emotions holiday advertising should evoke, but which one works better? The research goes into a lot of detail about emotions associated with "approach orientations" and "avoidance orientations," which I won't go into here, but these are the takeaways:
- Calming messages may work better on consumers than happy ones: "In tough economic times, when anxiety tends to be more prevalent, it is better for brands to use their advertising to associate their product with positive emotions of calmness rather than happiness. This subtlety makes a difference," Labroo said in a Booth press release.
- Happy messages help combat sad emotions evoked by serious programs: "For those advertising during a depressing documentary, it would be better to consider advertising with an emphasis on happiness," says Labroo.
Image courtesy of Flickr user moonlightbulb, CC 2.0.