It’s been said that the saving grace of humor is that if you fail nobody laughs at you.

Such is not always the case, particularly when humor is incorporated into advertising. And in today’s message-saturated world, it’s hard to find categories where brands are not using humor to grab a laugh, when they think it can mean the difference between being watched or not noticed at all.

But, once you get ‘em, do these funny ads actually do the job that brands hired them to do? Do they move consumers closer to the brand? Getting watched is one thing; actually working to change minds, and especially hearts, is something else.

Once-upon-a-laugh-track, many brands kept the humor strictly off camera, but Brand Keys has put one of those categories under the research microscope to see how humor is working in a field once thought far too serious to put in the hands of comedy: Car Insurance.

On Tuesday, October 11, 2011, at 12:00 PM (EST) in a webinar hosted by the Advertising Research Foundation, Amy Shea, Brand Keys EVP Global Brand Development, will present the findings from a new study extending the body-of-knowledge on how humor can build brand equity. Or not. While there is some existing research on the use of humor in advertising, there is little linking predictive brand metrics to examples of different comedic approaches and we invite you to share in our insights.

Follow the instructions below to attend at no cost:

1. Go to
2. On the left side of the screen, click on “Sign up for this upcoming Event, Forum or Webcast
3. Register for webcast “10/11/2011 – What’s So Funny? How Humor in Advertising Can Build a Brand”
4. Enter code “Loyalty” in the discount code box on the bottom of the screen and click continue

What kinds of humor are these top brands using to get the last laugh, and what does having a sense of humor really mean when it comes to effective branding? We’ll provoke questions and provide some key answers, using ads on-air this summer from four major insurance brands to see if they are reaching beyond entertainment.

And laughing all the way to the engagement-bank with consumers.

We hope you can join us.