Graeme Newell

humor in advertising: why some funniest commercials don’t sell

In this three-minute emotional marketing lesson video, emotional marketing expert Graeme Newell shows how the best humorous advertisements avoid the mistake of being “funny for the sake of being funny.”

As ad writers, creating the funniest commercials around isn’t always a top priority. While it often gets put on the back-burner, good advertising humor can endear the viewer to your product, and some of the best television ads are humor commercials. But what if I told you that humor in advertising can be easy and effective. Today I’m gonna tell you how to make humorous advertisements that move product.

Humor Commercials for the Sake of Being Funny

Too often humor in advertising loses track of its initial purpose. All humorous advertisements exist to not only entertain the viewer, but to also sell a product. You can be making the funniest commercials in history, but if the viewer never associates it with your product, it’s all for nothing. The key to humor commercials is that they must some double-duty with the humor. Commercials that are immensely entertaining are wonderful, but they must also sell a product.

Advertising Humor with a Purpose

So when we look at the best television ads that use advertising humor, we discover that there is always a motivation and a message behind the humor commercials. When making humorous advertisements you have to make it an integrated approach. Too often humorous advertisements are made with the product pitch in mind, and then the humor is just added on as an afterthought. Or sometimes the ad is made just as a humorous advertisement, and it feels like the product pitch is just tagged on to the end as an aside. Instead, the funniest commercials and best television ads are considering both of these aspects from start to finish. Advertising humor is just that – humor that is to be used effectively in a humorous advertisement.

Humor in Advertising

When going about making humorous advertisements, there are many different approaches you can take. Instead of just aimlessly going for the nebulous idea of “funny,” try to go at it from an emotional marketing approach. Instead of making cheap jokes, humor in advertising is a deliberate procedure. Spoof is a fantastic approach that many of the funniest commercials around use. Take a well-known fixture of popular culture, and lampoon it. It will establish a connection with the customer and then fulfil you side of the bargain by entertaining them. Once they are entertained, they will happily listen to your product pitch. You can also go the approach of absurd next step. In this creative vehicle, you take a common situation and flip it on its ear. The more mundane, the more extreme the flip.

So, let’s recap what was covered here:

  • Way too often advertisers pass over humorous advertisements. They think that humor in advertising is too difficult to effectively do and they either do not bother, or they add it as an afterthought.
  • Humorous advertisements are great vehicles for delivering a message. They endear the customer to you with the entertainment, and make the message memorable by pairing it with the humor
  • Two great ways to deliver the message is to either utilize the parody or absurd next step creative vehicles.
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