Does holiday ‘sadvertising’ work on you?

WATCH: Ad agencies are working harder and harder to get your attention, with some of them even resorting to making you cry. As blatant as the motives are, it seems to work. Reid Fiest reports.

It was a regular weeknight in a British pub. The Maple Leaf is where Canadians living across the pond come for a pint of beer when they’re homesick.

Two Air Canada pilots walked into the expat hangout and surprised the bar with free flights home to Canada for the holidays.

READ MORE: Air Canada surprises Canadian expats in Christmas video

It’s the second holiday-themed advertisements to hit social media this week

Story continues below advertisement

WestJet released its holiday video Monday, in which staff travelled to the Dominican Republic and granted Christmas wishes to villagers.

The airline delivered gifts like a skateboard, a washing machine, even a horse to residents in the community.

READ MORE: WestJet releases latest, heartwarming Christmas video

Both videos have already had tens of thousands of views online and have been shared widely on social media.

Lindsay Meredith, a marketing professor at Simon Fraser University and said the “clever” messaging technique is growing in popularity.

“Almost every corporation is playing this card. Why? Because it works?” said Meredith.

Some call the marketing “sadvertising.” While the motives may be obvious to consumers, Meredith said it’s a game companies have to play.

Story continues below advertisement

“If you don’t have any social equity, it looks like you’re any other great big fat corporate chasing bucks. Anything goes wrong? People want to lynch you for it,” he said.

Poll: Does advertising that tugs at the heartstrings make you more likely to use a company’s services?

Sponsored content