laughing calvin and hobbesAna Gasteyer’s career took an interesting twist when she mocked Weight Watchers on Twitter. As an actress and former Saturday Night Live cast member, Gasteyer had the quick wit to snap joke after joke about the weight loss company. One sarcastic tweet to Weight Watchers inquired whether a meal on gummy bear vitamins was considered a “binge” or healthy eating.

So what does this have to do with marketing? Well, Ana Gasteyer’s tweets were so funny that Weight Watchers asked her to star in the company’s commercials and other advertising efforts. By letting the public know that the company has a sense of humor, Weight Watchers can have more creative license with their advertising ideas.

Remember, humor conveys personality, and branding is all about developing your company’s identity. Appropriate humor strikes readers in a mental and emotional place that creates a strong business-to-consumer bond. Furthermore, humor boosts customer engagement with fans on social media. No wonder humor is such a popular content development strategy!

However, humor that’s taken too far can backfire if it’s considered distasteful. To successfully employ humor in your content, consider the following strategies:

Create a play on words.

Because they weren’t afraid to get a little silly (it’s just toilet paper, after all), Charmin was able to succeed with this meme. While not every brand can make restroom-related humor, the lesson here is to not take your brand too seriously if you want to be funny.

Engage consumers with witty comebacks.

If you have any sort of social media presence, you’re going to have consumers engage you through comments – it’s a given. By responding with witty comebacks when appropriate, you can settle explosive situations and handle public relations at the same time.

Post unaffiliated humor.

Just because it’s a humorous marketing effort for your brand, it doesn’t mean that the humor itself has to be associated directly with your brand. Axe consistently uploads humorous images to their Facebook page, and though many of these posts aren’t directly related to Axe, the company has a whopping 4 million Facebook fans. Remember, consumers love humor no matter what it’s about.

Have you used humor in your marketing strategy? To what effect?

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