Many of the most memorable ad campaigns around tend to be funny. Advertisers use this strategy to attract customers to their product. Audiences like to be entertained, but not pitched. People will pay more attention to a humorous commercial than a factual or serious one, opening themselves up to be influenced. The key to funny advertising is assuring the humour is appropriate to both product and customer. The balance between funny and obnoxious can often be delicate; and a marketer must be certain the positive effects outweigh the negative before an advertisement can be introduced.
The best products to sell using humour tend to be those that consumers have to think the least about. Products that are relatively inexpensive, and often consumable, can be represented without providing a lot of facts, and that’s where there’s room for humour. Candy, food, alcohol, tobacco and toys/ entertainment related products have proven to benefit the most from humour in their campaigns. One of the most important things to keep in mind is relevance to the product.
Lets just mention the Crazy Frog. It started off as a ring tone with a humorous ad campaign.
It has now become the biggest selling ring tone in the world and has reached number one in the music charts. They have used humour and have captured the market, lets just hope it goes away as quickly as it arrived!
Another point to consider when using humour in advertising is that different things are funny to different people. A commercial that may leave one person gripping their sides from laughter may leave a bad taste in another’s mouth. The target market must always be considered. What’s funny in a client presentation may not be funny on an airplane, at a country club or in a hospital.
Humour in advertising tends to improve brand recognition, but does not improve product recall, message credibility, or buying intentions. In other words, consumers may be familiar with and have good feelings towards the product, but their purchasing decisions will probably not be affected. One of the major keys to a successful humorous campaign is variety, once a commercial starts to wear out there’s no saving it without some variation on the concept. Humorous campaigns are often expensive because they have to be constantly changed. Advertisers must remember that while making the customer laugh, they have to keep things interesting, because old jokes die along with their products.