Who wouldn’t want to be laughing all the way to the bank when you look at your year-end figures? Perhaps, if you gave your market a little mirth, profits would improve.

Consumers love to be entertained rather than pitched, and humour can be injected into a whole realm of marketing endeavours. If done really well, a campaign with comedy can have great longevity as consumers continue to discover and share it. Who knows, maybe you’ll have the next viral hit on YouTube or the tweet that circulates ad infinitum.

When it comes to humour, it can be applied to almost any situation in marketing. Humour can:

• help a brand break through and get noticed, maybe even after they’ve fallen off of the consumer radar (remember Diamond Shreddies?)

• help a brand talk about issues that are potentially sensitive (Philips Bodygroom is a great example)

• give a brand personality (has certainly worked well for Virgin over the years…)

• help a brand reach a new audience (Samsung’s recent Galaxy S3 campaign has certainly helped introduce the brand to Apple devotees)

Simply put, not taking yourself so seriously can sometimes be an awfully serious way of improving your bottom line.


Put in the time and research to know your potential market. Reduce the risk of your humour falling flat by anticipating what your audience will think. Unfunny is annoying, but then again not everyone has a sense of humour.

Impeccable tact is paramount. In this big old www dot world, your content must be tasteful to the masses. Know what is politically correct, and know when sexy becomes lewd.

Poke fun at situations not people, and do it in an original and genuine way. Study what has worked for other companies and what different types of humour (whether dark, parody, satire, etc.) work best for selling different products or services.

Whether friends, colleagues, or focus groups, test your humour first. Is it really funny? Is it relevant, thought provoking and inoffensive? Eliminate the need for damage control at the front end.

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