Creative Marketing Approaches: Using Humor
If you’re a football fan, you watch the Super Bowl for the game. Everyone else watches for the commercials. The ads are expensive. For this year’s game, a thirty-second spot could cost as much as $10 million. Do these high-dollar advertisers get a good return on their investment? It depends on who you ask. Like ads everywhere else, there are some Super Bowl commercials that blandly blend into the woodwork and others that are talked about for years. One of the best ways these little bits of marketing legerdemain can stand out is through the use of humor. Whether it’s Bud Light’s Bud Knight, singing frogs or a colorful Pepsi extravaganza, it’s the funny ones that everyone remembers.
Many advertisers are wary of humor (or maybe have no sense of humor), so a funny ad can help you stand out, sort of like having a bright yellow sports car in a sea of black and gray SUVs. It’s not just wishful thinking either. Studies have shown that humorous ads have a higher recall rate.
There is another benefit as well. In this age of social media, you don’t just want people seeing your ads. You want them to share those ads with their friends and family. Which one do you think the average person will want to share? A dour ad that looks like all the others, or one that makes everyone laugh?
No one likes people who take themselves too seriously, so why not show your lighter side? The use of humor makes you seem more human. If you’re thinking that it will make you come across as frivolous and untrustworthy, relax. In many cases, the opposite is true. Humor makes you more relatable, and if they can relate to you, then they’ll begin to trust you.
Humor also puts people in a good mood. When people are in a good people, they’re more accepting, less critical of mistakes and just as importantly, more likely to spend money and tell their friends and family about you. That’s important when a negative review on an important site can quickly sink your product. If you leave them with a smile, they’re more likely to leave you a good review.
Of course, humor isn’t without its share of risks. It’s subjective. Something that will leave you rolling in the aisles may be lost on someone else. Improperly used, humor can leave your audience thinking you’re unprofessional and amateurish. Humor works best when it’s natural and well-thought out. There is a place and time for everything.
It may come with some risks, but using humor is a great way to make your brand stand out in a crowded field. Sure, you’re serious about your business, but there’s no reason you can’t have a little fun along the way. When the moment comes, don’t be afraid to go for a laugh or two. A smile won’t hurt, and may even help your bottom line.