True or False

It caught my eye from the moment I saw it: A beautiful old fashioned Jaffa ad “glowing” at the bus stop. This might sound silly but it reminded me of the good old times. Times, when I was drinking Jaffa together with my beloved grandad. What a nostalgic feeling!

When it comes to advertising many of us may believe that we are able to make rational decisions without ads and commercials influencing on us. Meanwhile the marketers are doing their best to dig into our minds. In fact they are trying to influence even in our memories. Consumers really should be aware of the power ads have to alter memory.

For me this became evident when I was reading an interesting research about how advertising can change our memories. As we all know memory is highly selective. It is not like a tape recorder that stores the information when you turn it on. To store information in your memory you should have at least some level of interest in the topic. And when the information is stored in your memory you either knowingly or unknowingly use it to make decisions. So how can marketers influence on our memory when the functions of memory are so tricky?

One way to do it is to use autobiographical memory (a memory of past personal experience) to persuade consumers to buy a product. Marketers can use different kinds of cues to make people to remember their past and experience a level of nostalgia. Memories can also be swayed into believing that an event had occurred even if it hasn’t. For example if you are seeing an autobiographical commercial you may unintendedly incorporate images from the advertising into you childhood memories. And if the commercial is good enough it can even alter our memory.

Now let’s get back to Jaffa ad. It brought me some good memories from my childhood but come to think of it I wasn’t even born when Jaffa brand previously looked the same. I am 1980s child and it was 1950s when Professor Erik Bruun painted the previous Jaffa ads with this similar look. What comes to my memories they probably are just false memories created by Hartwall (and my wild imaginary). Still I don’t feel like being manipulated. It feels good to have nice memories, even if they are false ones.


Braun A, ym. Psychology & Marketing: Make My Memory: How Advertising Can Change Our Memories of the Past. 2002;19(1):1-23.

Hartwall 2013.

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6 Responses to True or False

  1. saripajala says:

    Very interesting! And somehow frightening too, to know how advertisers cleverly affect us.

  2. johannakuisti says:

    “Good old times” seems to be something we all miss. I was born in the 70’s but this Jaffa ad brings back good memories to me too. Also I drank Jaffa with my granddad. 🙂 And this particular ad gives somehow the feeling that back then everything was good, there were no worries and all the summers were sunny.

  3. leeanylander says:

    My memoeries of Jaffa is that Jaffa and stomach ache belong toghether. Always when I was a kid and had stomach ache my parents gave me Jaffa. When I became a mother and our kids were ill, it was Jaffa! As a conclusion Jaffas ads are effective as they affects from gender to gender!

  4. tuulianeuvonen says:

    Jaffa and grandparents seem to go together :). When I visited my grandparents as a child they always had Jaffa Apple lemonade. I think for the most people childhood was a care free time. And when an advert takes you back to “old times” you remember the good times. Even though the old times would be far to old for you :).

  5. salmehyvonen says:

    I agree your comment about memories – good memories do good for us no matter false or not. But this was very interesting point you brought up. There is a lot in our mind we have not yet figured out.

  6. reijai says:

    I agree with you all. Memory is something very hard to understand. Sometimes it protect us, sometimes we remember those things which are suitable for ourselfes. I like that companies bring out their old advertisement and gives us the “free trip” to time or place we have forgot.

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