Humor in Advertising

When trying to think of an advertising campaign that sticks out, what comes to mind?… For me and probably most of you, you’re thinking of something that has made you laugh.

Why? Well I’ll tell ‘ya!

Humor makes an audience pay more attention to your commercial, which means they are more susceptible to influence. According to a 1933 Journal of Marketing Study, humor enhances ‘recall, evaluation, and purchase intention.’ Also, humorous advertising  is ‘more likely to secure audience attention, increase memorability, overcome sales resistance, and enhance message persuasiveness.’

Wow, big words, right? Well, they are to be taken with a grain of salt. Humor isn’t for everyone or every brand, it has to be tailored to your target market and it has to be…  funny! Commercials that miss the amusement mark tend to veer into annoying or even offensive territory. Both of these are obviously bad for your brand.

One of our favorite commercials that sticks in our mind is for Volkswagen.  Rather than explain it and get dig into all the psychological implications, you check it out here.

Funny, right? And it makes their point very well. As a consumer you can clearly remember, even months later, that they pride themselves on the features and technology in their vehicles and that the product should be part of your daily life. Next time I am looking for a car, guess what model will likely be in the consideration set!

This along with a couple more below are just a couple of examples of how commercials can be funny.

So why do they do it? Well it’s pretty simple really.

We buy from people we like and humor is the fastest way to develop those important relationships.