[Photo Source: Screenshot via YouTube]

As a desi living in the United States, you will be unable to stop yourself from watching television ads that have a high emotional quotient because they rekindle fond memories of your family, friends, and city. You take pride in your country and have misty eyes and a lump in your throat.

It is natural for immigrants to feel emotional while thinking about home, especially during festivals, which is when most sentimental ads are released. On the surface, it seems like these brands understand the feelings of their customers and are caressing them at a time when we are missing our families the most.

However, in reality, these ads are triggering inherently latent feelings in immigrants. Brands are mainly making an effort to create a special place for themselves in the hearts and minds of the customers. The influential role of emotions in consumer behavior is well-documented. Antonio Damasio, professor of neuroscience at the University of Southern California, in his book “Descartes Error,” argues that emotions are necessary ingredients in almost all decisions.

Many of the products we buy are sold by different companies with similar ingredients, sometimes for an even cheaper price. Yet, we prefer to buy products with a good brand value for a higher rate. This is because we are influenced by their image. Brands put in extra effort to create a connection with their customers.

Last Diwali, a friend of mine sent me the link to one of these emotional ads. I could not help being teary-eyed towards the end of the  commercial. Later, I realized what a brilliant brand exercise it was by all these companies. They touched the right emotional chord! I was undoubtedly their customer—and I was appropriately targeted.

Here are four ads that perfectly capture the hearts and emotions of Indians living abroad!

1. Lufthansa Diwali Commercial

This ad by Lufthansa was released in 2015 during Diwali. The timing was just right—for most Indians, Diwali is the most awaited festival of the year, that one occasion where the entire family reunites. But Indian immigrants often cannot make it to this family gathering because it is not always possible to fly home. However, this ad tempts and persuades customers to travel to India by focusing on how parents living in India are lonely. In a way, they make you feel guilty for not making it back home to India often enough.

2. Pepsi and Kurkure’s “Ghar Wali Diwali”

Last year, Pepsi and Kurkure launched this ad during Diwali. I must confess, after watching this ad, I felt like nobody understood my emotions better than the makers of this ad. It almost made me homesick for a day or two before the festival of lights.

Pepsi and Kurkure are two products we Indian immigrants have fondly grown up with in India. Through the popular beverage and the spicy snack, the brands tried to remind us of those special moments we have spent back in our motherland.

3. British Airways’ “Fuelled by Love”


British airways hit the right chord in this ad. There are two components in this ad—hospitality of the air hostesses and warmth of the Indian culture. Both of them make an immediate impact on desis in the U.S. Most NRIs will especially relate to the mother in the ad because she is extremely loving, likes to cook from scratch and loves to feed her kids.

4. British Airways, “A Ticket to Visit Mum”

Through this concept that the best food is “maa ke haath ka khana,” this ad makes its way into the hearts of almost every child living in the U.S. Most of them would want to book their flight right away to eat some mom-made food after watching this ad.