Usually it's pretty easy to figure out what approach an advertiser is trying to use in an ad. It's very common to see and easy to identify strategies like sex appeal, celebrity endorsements, bandwagon approach, catchy tunes, repetitive message from a company icon, etc. This ad isn't like that:
This ad is completely bogus. How many people are ever going to kill a hamster because they smoke? Can the hamster's death even be blamed on the fact that the man smoked? Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that the hamster died because the man was too lazy to re-do the carpet or because the girl bought a bad cage for her hamster? Those were all thoughts running through my head after the first time I watched that ad a while back. I couldn't figure out what the heck the people who made that ad were thinking. Now that we've gone over Pavlov's classical conditioning I can kind of see what they were trying to do. They were trying to get us to associate smoking with the feelings of remorse we felt when the hamster was killed and therefore make us want to avoid smoking. While my mind stills rebels at the logic they tried to use, there is no denying that the ad was extremely memorable for me. Do you think this ad is effective even though it is so absurd?