Graeme Newell

How the Funniest Commercials Use Sarcasm for Emotional Branding

[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_video link=”″ size=”825″][vc_column_text]It’s a dark side of human nature – sometimes the best way to build up customer egos is to tear down the egos of others. Sarcasm has become one of advertising’s most satisfying guilty pleasures.


In this three-minute emotional marketing lesson video, emotional marketing speaker Graeme Newell shows how the funniest commercials use a charming, good-natured bite of sarcasm. They masterfully appeal to our petty side, without appearing mean. Learn how to use this powerful creative approach to entertain and move your customers to a deeper connection with your brand.

Sarcasm is one of the most used emotional branding techniques around. It’s used in the funniest commercials, and our everyday lives. When it comes to humor in advertising, sarcasm is one of the cornerstones you can nearly always go to for some good laughs.

Emotional Branding with Sarcasm

Emotional branding is all about going beyond what most humor commercials do. It’s all about finding the funniest commercials and figuring out what makes them great. When looking at humor in advertising, it’s easy to just write it off as an easy way out of actually conveying a message – but the best advertising humor not only entertains, but also communicates a message. The funniest commercials are often the ones that drive home a point about the product they’re trying to sell. This is because the best humorous advertisements are developed with emotional branding concepts in mind to not only make the audience laugh, but to also sell product.

How the Funniest Commercials use Emotional Branding

The funniest commercials around are almost always some of the best commercials at selling their product using emotional branding concepts. There’s no point in having a fantastic commercial if you can’t have it lead back to your product. All the best advertising humor in the world won’t do you any good if those humor commercials don’t move product off the shelves. This is where emotional branding comes in. Emotional branding is how the funnies commercials not only entertain the viewer, but also move sales. The trick is to find out exactly what it is that makes your customers tick, and fulfilling that need.

Making Humorous Advertisements that Sell

When making humorous advertisements, emotional branding keeps in mind that fact that humorous advertisements are in fact a simple deal stuck between the viewer and the advertiser. The advertiser uses advertising humor to make the funniest commercials he or she can, and the viewer then agrees to watch a short little product pitch from the advertiser. This transaction is important for any humor in advertising because the advertiser must be careful not to leave out any parts of the equation. If the humor commercials aren’t funny, the viewer will lose interest and not watch the pitch, and if the pitch isn’t there, the viewer will be entertained without any idea as to what they’re supposed to buy.

Humor in Advertising with Emotional Branding

Emotional branding takes the emotions and feelings of the viewers and creates great, moving advertising humor from that. The important point here is that the viewer is always given the highest priority, and no humorous advertisements are ever made without considering how the viewer will react. We research to find out exactly what it is that makes various groups tick – what motivates them, what thrills them, and what pisses them off. For sarcasm, we use the last part.

Dark Sarcasm and Advertising Humor

Some of the best and funniest commercials generously use dark sarcasm to drive their point home. Dark sarcasm is when you find out exactly what it is that truly infuriates your viewers, and you lampoon it hard. The point here is to have your humor commercials put up on a pedestal what the viewer hates, and you knock it down hard. Viewers nowadays want someone who understands them and thinks like them, and there’s nothing like using negative humor to endear your brand to them. Emotional branding tells us that if your customers hate something, show them that you hate it too, and they’ll love you.

Humor Commercials and Light-Hearted Sarcasm

The other side of the emotional branding coin for sarcasm is to show it in a light-hearted manner in your humor commercials. Good advertising humor can work light-hearted sarcasm into a commercial to show that you understand the hardships that your customers go through, and that you feel their pain. This lightens the message a bit, however, by doing it with a wink and a nod.


So let’s recap:

  • Use emotional branding to really drive your message home while still keeping your advertising relevant and compelling
  • Humor in advertising must always connect with your product pitch, so don’t lose sight of what you’re trying to do – sell your brand
  • Sarcasm can be used to lampoon something, or to lightly poke fun at it. The important point is to make sure you show your customers that you hate the same things that they do.

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