Unsung Hero of Emotional Advertisements

-Kevin Eghrari

The advertisement I analyzed by Thai Life Insurance did more than sell their services, this advertisement set out to give the insurance company a good name and appear trustworthy and caring to potential customers. They accomplished this by creating a powerful message that applies to the entire world. Through symbolism and appealing to people’s morality, this commercial was able to win the 2014 best advertisement.

Throughout the commercial, a middle aged Thai man goes about his day helping anyone in need. He waters a plant on his way to work, helps a lady move her food cart over the curb, feeds a hungry dog, and gives a homeless child money. All while doing so, onlookers shake their head in distaste. For most of the commercial, he repeats these same steps, his quality of life staying static. Until one day, the flower blossoms, the food cart lady gives a homeless person extra food, and he sees the homeless girl in a school uniform. At this point, the onlookers smile in amazement and the young Thai man is filled with joy. Simultaneously, a commentator mentions the lack of benefits from the man’s actions until the flower blossoms, where the commentator states, “He gets emotions”. Finally the commercial ends asking the viewer “what is important to you” and mentioning the Thai Life Insurance Company.

Although this commercial seemingly does not sell a product, it is in fact selling credibility and trustworthiness. It is not saying that Thai Life Insurance is for young Thai men that help people. It is saying that the Thai Life Insurance Company cares about the world and helping people. In essence, the young man is the personification of the Thai Life Insurance Company. It does this by appealing to a person’s morality as well as their desire to do and see good in the world. Not to mention, Thai culture puts a huge value on service, making this effective in the Thai market.

The message the commercial sends is, thankfully, scalable to be applicable to the entire world. Because the commercial contains such a strong message, it received a huge number of views from all over the world. Therefore it is good that the values and the message the commercial “sells” are applicable to the whole world through symbolism. For example, the hungry dog and the homeless child can be seen on a larger scale as the problems of world hunger and child education. On top of that, the commercial sends a message about a solution for these problems. The commercial relates these problems to the plant the man waters, stating that these problems are similar to growing a plant; you continuously water and nurture a plant with no visible benefits until the day it blossoms into a beautiful flower. It is with that understanding that the commercial urges its viewers to continue to serve and do good in the world despite not seeing immediate results.

This type of commercial is not something new for Thai Life Insurance; in fact they have nearly mastered the art of the emotional tearjerker ad. Because selling insurance through a commercial is extremely difficult, Thai Life Insurance sells themselves with emotional ads that gain the trust of the viewers. With a product like life insurance, the only other way the company could sell their product would be by boasting low prices. However, by appealing emotionally to viewers, this ad is just as effective at selling insurance because it gives Thai Life Insurance a friendly and caring name.

All in all, this Thai Life Insurance ad is extremely effective in reaching its viewers emotional appeals. By using symbolism to convey an effective message, as well as appealing to its viewer’s morality, Thai Life Insurance was able to create an effective advertisement that grows the caring brand. After being in the emotional advertisement business for years, it looks like Thai Life Insurance mastered the art.

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