Priming in psychology is the effect that exposing someone to an earlier stimulus has on their response to a stimulus that is introduced later. For example, experiments have found that respondents who are exposed to rude words before an interview are more likely to interrupt the interviewer. Priming in marketing can be used in different ways. For example, a 1999 experiment conducted by North et al. found that grocery shoppers who were exposed to German music in the store bought more German wine, while those exposed to French music in the store bought more French wine. The shoppers were unaware the auditory priming affected their buying behavior.
Some examples of priming include those that use smiles in their campaigns. Using a smile has been shown to increase the amount of liquid people drink. For example, in 2015, Coke used a "Laughter Mob" video in Belgium as part of its #ChooseHappiness campaign. This video featured a man laughing on a train and others laughing as a result. The priming effect was using laughter to influence people to buy and drink Coke. Laughter can also be used to promote other types of buying behavior, not just those related to drinking. For example, it could be used to influence people to visit a restaurant or resort.
According to an article in Health Psychology, food has been found to have an effect on eating behaviors (see the link below). Many ads show food, such as the Chips Ahoy! S'mores TV Ad, "Camping Trip," which shows the chocolate center of the cookie. In this case, just seeing food is intended to influence someone to buy it. This priming effect of showing food could also be used to get someone to buy healthy food.
Music also has a priming effect. For example, a Volkswagen ad uses the lyrical Allison Krauss and Union Station song "When You Say Nothing At All" to prompt people to buy a Volkswagen. The priming effect is using music to make people feel lyrical and loving so they will associate that feeling with Volkswagen and want to buy one of the company's cars. This priming effect could also be used to promote other buying behaviors, such as purchasing a loving greeting card.