“Once you get people laughing, they’re listening and you can tell them almost anything.” — Herbert Gardner, American play writer
Consumers are begging to be entertained. Too often, companies forget to connect consumers with their brands through the simple use of entertainment — especially humor. Many fear that using humor in advertising or public relations will stray the customer too far away from the product. But in fact, humor can serve to obtain the audience’s attention, appeal to their emotions and humanize the brand, increasing the likelihood of consumers remembering and sharing the brand’s content or purchasing its product or services. Here are a few great examples:
Who can forget one of the best M&M and Super Bowl commercials of 2012? Yes, that’s right— the “Sexy and I Know It” advertisement. The company utilized the awkward, yet funny situation of being “naked” to promote their new, brown-shelled chocolate M&M. The company also utilized an existing character and his naïve personality to further promote the brand and connect with the audience. The company created a purpose for the humor and established it throughout the entire piece making it both memorable and shareable for all audience members.
Another unique and fairly new commercial, Clorox’s “Splash — Bleach It Away,” capitalizes on one mildly gross and yet funny moment in raising children. Referring to it as one of life’s “bleachable” moments, Clorox utilizes humor and excitement of the child’s first experience on the “big boy potty” to indicate and promote the perfect time to use their bleach product. Once again, the company created humor with a purpose and connected its product to the targeted audience, moms.
Humor doesn’t only have to be in advertising. Let’s not forget— public relations and social media can also connect brands to their customers. A great example can be seen in M/C/C’s use of Chuck E. Cheese’s partnership with Nestle to create and share a Laffy Taffy Joke-of-the Week on Chuck E. Cheese’s social media platforms. The strategy not only encourages moms, dads and brand fans to connect with the company by liking or commenting on the posts, but it also encourages them to share the jokes with their children, thus creating an even bigger fan base and moment of bonding over shared delight.
A few take-away points —
1. Always have motivation and a message behind your humor.
2. Connect humor to the brand and product.
3. Humor is subjective, so be consistent with your brand image and philosophy to appeal to all stakeholders.
4. Find the right balance. A controlled amount of humor can be the difference in success and failure.
Previously published on The M/C/C Minute at www.mccom.com/blog.