Give Your advertising a sense of humour!

Out of all the adverts that interrupt our TV viewing we only really remember the funny ones…

Mash Gets Smash must have been the best marketing campaign for reconstituted potato in history! The Martians began promoting instant mash in 1974 for Cadburys. The advert is supposed to be the funniest all time advert and was voted the most iconic British food advert of all time by the BBC Good Food Guide!

If is suitable for your brand to use humour in it’s advertising, and it really is funny, you have a head start against your competitor. And are far more likely to get remembered.

Tongue in cheek content and unusual images create some of the best adverts in todays promotional industry. People like to laugh!

Clever associations work really well.

The Jaffa Cakes lorry plays on the premise that the Jaffa cakes are so valuable they cant afford to be left in the lorry overnight in case of theft.

The pepsi ad makes us smile because of the continual famous rivalry between Coke and Pepsi. Clever and simple!
Would it change your opinion of Coke? I doubt it!

humourAdvertising achieves more, when subtle, leaving more to the imagination to keep you thinking.

Wonderbra has a great selection of adverts illustrating this and gets the point across! The same product same message – almost – with totally different images. Aimed at a slightly different audience!

Being remembered is essential.

It is believed that the prospective customer needs to see or hear your marketing message at least 7 times before they take action and buy from you. That’s 7 separate nudges. Especially more effective when appearing across different supporting media. However sometimes seeing the same advert over and over again can work in the opposite way and just be annoying. So defeating the objective! While the Meercat ad is ‘genius’ the ‘Go-Compare’ advert is annoying (to me)! No accounting for taste! It may have something to do with cute furry animals opposed to irritating opera singers?

Jane Smith of Magascene says…

“Funny ads do draw attention but when creating them, I would bear in mind that not everyone exposed to the artwork will share the same sense of humour. Also, ads that tend to be too ‘clever funny’ may in fact put people off, particularly if the branding is not obvious enough. I do, however, think they work better in print and on radio than on television, as on television the humour can easily mask the brand as you can sometimes forget you are watching an advert at all. Then the repetition of the TV spot starts to grind, even if you laughed your head off the first time round!”

So how can we use humour on our small business budgets?

Is there a funny side to your business?

Have you had a funny request that you can use in a positive way that would get attention?

When advising my clients on social media I tell them about how I obtained a naked client! – this guy had a profile picture in a state of undress but needed a graphic designer. I told him to put on some clothes then we could talk. He changed his profile pic for me!! (there is a longer story to be told here but I count him as a very good client with a sense of humour).

People like humour it encourages interaction and empathy. Demonstrating a personality within the business.

Cartoons and jokes are great to get attention.

Adding an image of yourself in cartoon form indicates that you have a sense of humour. However, make sure it is relevant to your business and falls in line with how you brand yourself and company services! Some caricatures can be very wicked so bravery over vanity is required! (The Excedia Group is always willing to be brave)

Playing on peoples fears, but in a funny way, can get you noticed.

A recent advert for a double glazing company plays on the problem of never being able to get rid of double-glazing salesmen once inside your house. Tongue in cheek and successful! Be surprising!

Make the reader look twice!

Doing a ‘Double Take’ to see if they really read/saw what they think they did! Making light of serious situations is often tricky and has to be carefully done.  Uncomfortable circumstances or products that are embarrassing or sensitive can be successfully advertised using humour as long as no one gets offended. The ad below is rather subtle but people will remember it.

So in conclusion – Don’t be too clever so the reader misses the point, be witty and of course politically correct unless you really want some media attention!

Amusing and funny pictures or cartoons get attention, but keep it appropriate.

Catch phrases and euphemisms are great, play on words. Not too suggestive depending on your audience!

Make people smile and you will always get remembered!

One last important point – don’t forget to get your message across and a call to action or your advert will be wasted no matter how amusing and clever!!


Written by Angie Phillips, Design Consultant - Helping you create business by creating IMPACT! Fabulous effective design that makes you say WOW! Using my expertise to promote yours. Fiercely committed to my clients and getting my hands on your assets! Always happy to offer help and advice. Promoting and helping you to grow through networking & introductions even after our work is done. #CreatingBusinessByDesign  #CreatingIMPACT  #LOVEwhatIdo

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