The Nielsen Global Survey of Trust in Advertising polled more than 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries to measure consumer sentiment on 19 forms of paid, earned and owned advertising formats. 47% of global respondents agreed that humorous ads resonated the most.
But when we started writing this post about using humour in marketing campaigns it struck us that it hasn't been done that often or that well by brands. It is especially true for B2B brands. So it stands reason that the few companies that have nailed it stand out far above the crowd.
What can we learn from their successful blend of comedy and sales?
1) Begin with your customer's pain point. Humour comes from pain, so it's a rich area to mine. Focus on a problem that your company can solve. A great place to start is to explore the consequences of that problem not being solved and exaggerate to the point of the ridiculous.
2) Ever heard someone say "it's funny because it's true!" Well, that is a fact. Make sure your humour isn't completely imaginary. In order to keep it reltable, people need to be able to put themselves in you brands position with little to no effort.
3) Self-deprecating humor is sometimes a powerful way to humanize the brand. When a brand shows that it doesn't always take itself too seriously, it's a powerful way to demonstrate authenticity as well as confidence.
4) Keep it relatable. This isn't the time to further your political or religious agenda. Humour needs to be funny to your whole audience and not just some of them.
Humor allows us to connect with customers by showing the lighter side of our brands. Humor makes marketing messages stand out from the crowd, but the tone and content have to be appropriate to the brand’s message, or audiences can wind up laughing at you rather than with you. Humorous marketing can be used to great effect as part of wider marketing campaigns, especially as social media becomes ever more important to brands.
Give it a try. You can be funny without losing respect. In fact, it works the other way.