As a retail junkie, I scour Sunday ads looking for new ideas.  Lately, I have started to explore the feelings that Sunday ads create.  You may scoff, but I am starting to become a believer….and it all began with an ad for Laundry Detergent.

    Like you, I have a pile of laundry waiting to be done at all times somewhere in my house.  Like you, I wish I didn’t.  So looking at ads for laundry detergent, stain removers, bleach and fabric softeners actually make me feel guilty — especially when they are on sale.  It is almost as if the ads are screaming “What is your excuse?”  Laundry products are garishly colored to begin with: orange, lime green, purple.  They are meant to signify cleanliness and strength and action – all things I am not feeling on a lazy Sunday morning.

    Then I saw the ad that made the difference: There was a cozy pile of folded color-coordinated towels beside an empty laundry basket next to a lavender-scented softener bottle.  YES! my mind screamed: “That’s what I want.”  I don’t want to DO my laundry — I want it to be DONE!  I want to feel that sense of accomplishment.  Done and folded and checked off my list.  That got me looking at the ads in a whole new way:

    Walgreens and CVS continue to show me thin bottles of mascara and eye pencils next to price points: Department stores show me Drew Barrymore’s beautiful eyes.  Rainbow Food Stores shows a head of lettuce and a bottle of dressing with a BOGO offer.  Cub Food Stores shows me a salad on a beautiful plate with a colorful napkin.  Think about it:  Who in their right mind actually WANTS ground chuck?  Absolutely no one.  We want meatloaf, hamburgers, a simple stroganoff.

    I don’t want a bottle of hair coloring – I want a new identity.  I don’t want a holiday tablecloth – I want to host a celebration.  I don’t want a frozen pizza – I want a fast supper everyone will like.

    I recognize that in today’s economic situation, we all need to be mindful of the costs of our consumable and durable purchases.  But retailers who are crafty will remember that behind the LOW LOW PRICES! are emotions that every shopper has.  Connect to the emotions and you build a loyalty that is defensible against competitors who want to drag your prices (and margins!) even lower.