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How to Use Humor in Advertising

Some of the most memorable advertising campaigns in recent history, regardless of company size and marketing budget, and whether broadcast, print or online-only, have involved humor. As an audience, consumers most enjoy being entertained instead of pitched, and so appealing to them emotionally can lead to further engagement with your product in the future. Utilizing social media can be an inexpensive and extremely effective way to do that.

For example, For a company selling computer routers, it can be difficult to put a commercial together that will appeal to anyone but hardcore tech programmers. But thinking creatively and beyond the product, you can create something that becomes a viral hit and appeals to your customers, while also allowing others who may have zero intention to buy your product to share it with their friends, raising brand awareness.

So why is there a need to use humor in its advertising? How can Marketing Agency in Pune can implement it into your overall Marketing Strategy?

How to Use Humor in Advertising: When Humor Works

Comedy can be the great differentiator for any product. Humor, when executed properly, helps cut through the noise and helps you stand out. If you can make someone laugh, there is an emotional connection with them. And anything you say beyond that is going to be more meaningful.

How to Use Humor in Advertising: When Humor Doesn't Work

Identifying examples of advertising where humor was employed but failed could be a story in itself, but there are plenty of recent examples of poorly executed campaigns that teach just as much about doing it right as they do things to avoid.

There are two big mistakes that you often see in the campaigns that fail. The first, and easily the biggest, is trying to include too much product messaging. As soon as you start doing that, you lose the audience. It's important to fight the urge to burden a comedy with product information. The second mistake is companies that simply are not willing to take a risk by being a little bit edgy. If you are safe, your results will be average. But it's when you take a chance that something can become really big.

Among recent failed campaigns, industry analysts point to the 2009 Super Bowl advertisement by Sobe beverages as an example of when humor doesn't work as intended. In the 'Lizard Lake' campaign, the brand employed three NFL players, CGI (computer-generated imagery) lizards and monsters and had them dancing in a mockery of the old and famous ballet Swan Lake. There were many reasons the campaign was not received well: too much CGI and computer enhancement, football players turned ballet dancers, lizards turned football players, the inherent promotion of a new movie (Monsters vs. Aliens) and too much product promotion throughout.

How to Use Humor in Advertising: How To Add the Humor

While it's a great idea to attempt comedy, actually pulling it off can be very tricky for many. Let's face it: we all think we are hilarious, but few are actually talented enough at writing and producing content that appeals to mass audiences.

Assuming you don't have in-house talent to work on these campaigns, it is recommended you begin by visiting a local film school and talking to some of the professors. Find out who some of the top seniors are, as almost every school will have someone with a great comedic voice and vision. Even better for small businesses, since they aren't yet established professionally and rather are looking to add to their reel and resume, you can acquire them much cheaper.

Another option for those in urban areas is to visit a local improv comedy theatre and see who controls the crowd best. Those venues tend to attract more cerebral types of comedy writers who aren't going for a cheap laugh but understand comedy that comes from character and situation.

Another point that Marketing Agency in Pune consider is when using humor in advertising is that different things are funny to different people. A commercial that may leave one person keeled over from laughter may leave a bad taste in another's mouth. The target market must always be considered, and running test and focus groups to receive feedback is always a great idea. Sometimes the portion of the commercial you thought was the funniest may get no laughs, while a scene you never expected to be a hit can be the most popular part.

How to Use Humor in Advertising: Utilizing Humor in Social Media

The time has never been better for brands to employ social media when launching a new advertising campaign, particularly one with humor. The main reason for this is why social media is largely looked at as an entertainment medium. People don't often turn to YouTube to garner product information, but they do go there to watch funny videos. When they find one that resonates with them, the likelihood that they'll click the share button to spread via their networks on Twitter and Facebook, email it to a friend or talk about it becomes even higher.

As a small company, you can take the chance with a funny video and just post it on YouTube to see how it's received. Sometimes it fails, but if it's done properly, it can be a chance for those companies to compete with much larger brands without spending much money.

So all-in-all, it is important to consider all the factors when you are planning a Marketing campaign and you intend to include humor in it.


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