Classical Conditioning and Advertisements

     Ivan Pavlov's famous dog salivation experiment studied the theory of classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is a theory of psychology that shapes behavior to respond to a specific stimulus in a specific way through repeated exposure. In Pavlov's dog experiment, his dogs were classically conditioned to salivate to the sound of a ringing bell that was repeatedly paired with food. In marketing, classical conditioning is used to associate a brand with a specific feeling such as luxury. Coca-Cola has classically conditioned consumers to associate their product with feelings of satisfaction and quench. This has been done through advertisements that feature Coca-Cola in locations and situations that make you thirsty such as the beach, pool, or when playing sports (Idealogic Brand Lab). In this way, Coca-Cola has used classical conditioning as a marketing tool to associate the soda as the solution to the problem of thirst. Another way Coca-Cola has used classical conditioning as a marketing tool is the association between Coca-Cola and Christmas due to their abundance of Christmas advertising. 

    Coca-Cola has created an association between their product and Christmas by creating several advertisements that show the drink in holiday scenes that convey feelings of happiness and festivity. Not only does this lead to Coca-Cola being associated with Christmas itself, but with the positive feelings associated with the holiday season (Oakley). 



  1. Classical conditioning is such an interesting theory and it is super interesting to see how it is used in advertisements. Brands come up with several creative ways to gain the consumer's attention and to get them to associate their product with positive feelings. I liked the example you brought up regarding Coca Cola's advertising and I'm curious about other techniques used by different brands.

  2. Amy,
    The coca-cola example is so real. I remember how magical it seemed when I was like 6-7 years old, if only I knew then what I know now... We live, we learn I guess!

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