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Plague Doctor
INTJ, 5w4, Ni-T type
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Discussion Starter #1
Last year, a commercial was released called, "Coming Home for Christmas" for Heathrow Airport. Heathrow works to bring estranged family members back together. Anyway, the short commercial is behind the spoiler cut if you want to familiarize yourself with it.

 


I watched it last year because I was curious about why so many people were talking about it online. For some reason, I cried at the end. Not like sobbing, but like a few tears were lost. I watched it again, and the same thing happened.

I don't know why this commercial made me cry. It's like I had this profound emotion without context - except there was context (the commercial). Confused, I showed the commercial to @hornpipe2, who didn't have an emotional reaction. I asked him why this commercial makes people cry and he couldn't offer any insight.

My most pressing question is this: Why does this commercial make people cry? Why did it make me cry? Go ahead and assume that there isn't any mental illness involved and that we're talking about the average person. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't "get" the commercial in the same way that I might not "get" a joke, so I don't laugh. Though, in that metaphor, I didn't "get" the joke but I still laughed.

My related question is: Do you ever have a strong emotional reaction to something and not know where it's coming from? What do you do when this happens? Do you try to figure out the reason or do you let it go?
 

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it's your collective subconscious flooding the conscious with repressed desires/emotions
INTJ requires mass amount of ''down time'' but yet secretly craves at least 1 person who will truly love/understand us
tis the curse of our kind:frustrating:
 

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Not an INTJ but I've been trying to understand this exact thing myself. It happens much more frequently to me than you describe and I think it's emotional manipulation on the part of the ad-makers. Like, I just watch the commercial break and ad after ad has such techniques that create these emotional responses, usually coupled with some kind of melodramatic or nostalgic music which on its own can be emotional etc. The basic underlying emotions are love, loneliness, intimacy, etc things we can all relate to and we are even taught from a young age to appreciate even from things like Disney cartoons. So the themes are pretty "human", maybe even have some archetypal root to them.

So these ads just touch on those specific things in very successful ways. I've been "studying" this for years and it's super common. In my country they use a lot of ethnic pride themes, like the natural beauty or food or certain customs we have that bring family together etc to advertise things like banks, mobile packages etc it's kinda ridiculous after you rationalize it and I think a lot of people don't, because the themes used are so ingrained in us, they don't question why they are being used. Probably every country has its own unique themes based on the culture, which they choose to use exactly because they are so acceptable, but I think they also work backwards - strengthening the culture in people's minds.
 

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Maybe it is about what you assimilate that emotion to. If your own experience of 'coming home' is sweet, or for some reason, you have tranformed the notion in your head to mean something to you (maybe you are an optimist), then this could explain the seemingly (otherwise) unknown feeling ingrained in some hidden part of you.

The commercial did not have a significant effect on me. I have had more ugly experiences of 'coming home' than sweet ones, because my family is dysfunctional. Last year when I arrived back in my home town for holiday, I did not get to step out of the train when my father hopped on and started yelling big words in my direction (out of his own stress). My mother was even worse after she greeted me at home.

Did the commercial invoke something specific in you?
 

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I think an appropriate question would be: what were you thinking of during or directly after the commercial ? To be honest, I can only presume that, surely, it triggered a memory of something or the absence of a memory you'd like to have.
 

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Although, I could see a commercial where there are kids depicted playing in the snow giving me a nice feeling. I love snow!
 

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Plague Doctor
INTJ, 5w4, Ni-T type
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Discussion Starter #7
@Red Panda you said, It happens much more frequently to me than you describe and I think it's emotional manipulation on the part of the ad-makers.

Exactly! I just wonder which technique was used in this commercial.

@lolalalah

There was nothing specific it invoked in me other than itself. It's not like while I was watching it I was remembering a different plane trip I took, or I was thinking about how much I love peacoats, or that I was thinking of my deceased grandparents.

I've never had much of a strong response to getting together with family for the holidays. I have some great family members (my siblings) and some extremely abusive family members. My experience with going to family gatherings around the holidays is generally stressful as everyone seems to have these expectations that I can't seem to decipher. It's exhausting, really. My dad died two years ago in July, so I have had two Christmases (this one will be the third) without him. However, I really don't think this affected my response to the commercial. It seems that any grief associated with that is something I have done a lot of work through and, while it certainly could explain the emotional response, I just don't think that's it in this case.
Also, I never had a strong connection with a teddy bear of any kind (though this might be an explanation for the emotions in a different direction).

I think an appropriate question would be: what were you thinking of during or directly after the commercial ? To be honest, I can only presume that, surely, it triggered a memory of something or the absence of a memory you'd like to have.
That's the thing, though. I wasn't thinking of anything during or after the commercial. Afterward, I racked my brain at any hidden emotional experience I could possibly have or any connection and couldn't come up with anything that matched.

I guess I'm more interested in a collectivist explanation. Like, not just me, but why do many people find this something they respond to emotionally? It's like I can't get the hook.
 
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Do you perhaps hold (dearly) values that are shown (implied) in this commercial?
I didn't cry but it made me... warm. I assume it's because I value this kind of love the most. I wish it could happen to me. I've always admired couples like this and I'm always moved by movies that show this kind of love (while "standard" melodramas do nothing to me). Also the happy family reunion...
Is it longing for things you value? Or gratitude? Or sentiment?

Back to your questions, I do. It's involuntary so I have to "think" (unless I did that before) where they're coming from. I can't watch anything that involves an animal suffering.
I project a lot of my emotions on animals. An abandonment, fear, disorientation, mistreating gets me the most.

What I'm saying, I have an emotional response in a moment when I can identify but I might do it unconsciously thus not know where is it coming from till I make it conscious.
 

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Plague Doctor
INTJ, 5w4, Ni-T type
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Discussion Starter #9
Do you perhaps hold (dearly) values that are shown (implied) in this commercial?
I didn't cry but it made me... warm. I assume it's because I value this kind of love the most. I wish it could happen to me. I've always admired couples like this and I'm always moved by movies that show this kind of love (while "standard" melodramas do nothing to me). Also the happy family reunion...
Interesting. Perhaps there is a value in there that many Americans hold that this commercial touches. Or, perhaps, there's this idea that families today are too scattered and it's touching to know that some people still come together for the Holidays.

Is it longing for things you value? Or gratitude?
That's an interesting question - gratitude. I wouldn't have though this was a "happy" cry, so this is a total blind spot for me when analyzing my response. I know that the first thing that I thought was that this had to do with my dad's death somehow. I am extremely grateful for his influence on my life. Since the commercial shows kids at the end, perhaps it was a sort of reverse sentimentality that my children won't get to know their grandfather the way that I knew him.

It's just usually it's so much more conscious when I think of my dad. And being conscious, I have emotional responses, sure, but I don't go to pieces the way I did in the 6 months after his death.
 
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If I get emotional during a song or a situation or an advertisement, I would analyse it and although I may find a plausible source and/or memory for that emotion, sometimes I still can't explicitly explain 'why did I get emotional over that?'

The best I've got really!

Perhaps note down possible options for why you could've felt that way, think on each of them separately and let each "soak in"?
 

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I guess I'm more interested in a collectivist explanation. Like, not just me, but why do many people find this something they respond to emotionally? It's like I can't get the hook.

The collectivist perspective would be related to the warmth and nostalgia, I think. Coming back to your family in Christmas, brings all of the emotions you have been bottling up. You weren't able to see your family and Christmas is the time to do so. All of the yearning neglected from the busy, modern society overflows in these sorts of commercials--and that's usually why Christmas and other traditions trigger a lot of emotions. Ad-makers try to touch on that.

Specifically on this commercial, though, I guess I can only speak from my perspective. In addition to what I mentioned before, the clumsiness of the teddy-bears made me attach to them--kind of in a "awee, for cutes" way. You assume they are coming back to their teddy-bear family. Then at the end of the commercial, human children run up to hug them. The teddy-bears are actually grandparents. For me, the connection between the clumsiness of the teddy-bears and of older couples bring about similar sensation. They are unfamiliar with the modern society, and it brings confusion for them in order to navigate it. So when you see them with their family at the end, you get the feeling of "Awe, they made it safely." In a similar way teddy-bears do. And all of the other emotions and connotation built in holidays season, overwhelming feels can occur.
 
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I watched it, and it got to me as well. Many things do. Here is another:


Both focus on vulnerability, cuteness, generosity, and people connecting and helping each other.

The commercials are tapping into emotions connected with childhood. The bears and the boy in the video I posted are small people trying to navigate a big world. We feel protective of them, because of their cute, childlike qualities. That is an instinctive response to nurture children - cuteness and smallness = needs protection, warm feelings of support.

They are innocents, and would be easy to hurt. But the people around them are kind and helpful. That vulnerability is one every child experiences, so every person can tap into it, and feel good when it all works out.

So both ads are tapping into universal emotions - the need to nurture, and a sense of vulnerability.

Also, the music is very important for setting the mood - simple, upbeat, hopeful.
 

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Plague Doctor
INTJ, 5w4, Ni-T type
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Discussion Starter #13
If I get emotional during a song or a situation or an advertisement, I would analyse it and although I may find a plausible source and/or memory for that emotion, sometimes I still can't explicitly explain 'why did I get emotional over that?'

The best I've got really! It's seems inexplicable :/

Perhaps note down possible options for why you could've felt that way, think on each of them separately and let each "soak in"?
But see, I did this for at least a month after seeing the commercial last year and I keep returning to it throughout the year. When I was reminded of the commercial yesterday, I thought to post here to see if there's a more collectivist thing that I'm missing here.
 
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@brightflashes

20 seconds into the clip and it is definitely trying to bring out some kind of nostalgic feeling of ones childhood, the teddy bears look to be old people, because adults watching the ad can recognize themselves in the ad.

So i guess people may cry because they are longing back to something they've had before, or because their childhood wasnt that great. But this is just speculations anyway..

Personally i just thought it was a kind of cute (Visuals) but melancholic (Nostalgic music) commercial, which actually has nothing to do with my childhood. However, I may be reminiscent of my childhood sometimes. But I dont wanna take a plane somwhere just because of that.
 

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Plague Doctor
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Both focus on vulnerability, cuteness, generosity, and people connecting and helping each other.

The commercials are tapping into emotions connected with childhood. The bears and the boy in the video I posted are small people trying to navigate a big world. They are innocents, and would be easy to hurt. But the people around them are kind and helpful. That vulnerability is one every child experiences, so every person can tap into it, and feel good when it all works out.

Also, the music is very important for setting the mood - simple, upbeat, hopeful.
Interesting. I thought about the music as well. But I do know that I like juxtapositions between visual and auditory. For example, a song that seems happy played during a scary/sad time during a movie is a good combination to be struck by the complexity of human emotion - this usually works better for me than more "appropriate" music sometimes.

I really appreciate your analysis. Especially about connecting and helping each other - that's something I haven't experienced a lot in my life and maybe there's something to that.
 
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@Red Panda you said, It happens much more frequently to me than you describe and I think it's emotional manipulation on the part of the ad-makers.

Exactly! I just wonder which technique was used in this commercial.
Well I kinda don't want to watch it xD OK I skimmed it a bit and I'm seeing [with my teary eyes] that it combines the cuteness/innocence of the teddies coupled with their apparent age of being grandparents which *usually* is something perceived as sweet and warm and something most people can relate to because they likely met their grandparents as kids and have good memories. They are also a loving couple, meaning they lived a long life of love together, creating a family line which are both generally treasured in society. And in the end they have their grandkids greet them happily which boosts that effect oh and they give us a moment of dread that no one is there to greet them so the ending comes as a relief. All of these themes are just combined into this story, packaged with the music and given a good ending that sort of gives a vibe that they are going to have a good time = happy happy happy

perhaps the reasons it touched you are specific to things you value as someone else said
 

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What an amazing commercial. I love ads that manipulate "good" values.

The emotion didn't come from nowhere. This ad was precisely constructed to elicit an emotional response: teddy bears, frumpy clothing, eyeglasses, smiling children and the music, etc. So there's something about the values shown that pinged a response.

This Thai Life commercial gets me every time because being courteous to strangers is a big deal for me. Right at the moment he sees the little girl in a school uniform, I start tearing up like a punk. But then again, I get misty-eyed when other people start crying, so there's that.


What's interesting is that I tend to have a more visible emotional response to people and things that are distant rather than those that are close. Doesn't that have a psychological term?
 

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Perhaps note down possible options for why you could've felt that way, think on each of them separately and let each "soak in"?
I mean, yeah this is a good approach - but I gotta say she's been doing this pretty much since seeing the commercial! Like she kept making me watch it and asking "what's up with this" repeatedly :p

Usually @brightflashes is really good at figuring out the "why" of personal experiences. Maybe sometimes it takes a few days of reflection, but she's generally able to come to a conclusion about where a reaction, feeling, or idea came from. In other words - I think the mystery here is as much about the ad itself and what it evokes, as well as the questions of "why can't I figure this out about myself? Why isn't it immediately apparent?"
 

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Plague Doctor
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Discussion Starter #19
What's interesting is that I tend to have a more visible emotional response to people and things that are distant rather than those that are close. Doesn't that have a psychological term?
Wow - good question. Not that I know of.

This ad was precisely constructed to elicit an emotional response.
No kidding! And I'm very thankful for your spelling it out, too. I'm really appreciating all this analysis about why this commercial "gets" people.

I think the mystery here is as much about the ad itself and what it evokes, as well as the questions of "why can't I figure this out about myself? Why isn't it immediately apparent?"
Exactly! These responses are infinitely better than your constant, "I don't know"s and your "I really have no clue"s :tongue:
 
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