Putting Humour to Your Marketing, Good or Bad?

Adding  humour to your marketing strategies can make your brand stand up uniquely from the rest; your prospects will likely to share your humorous advertisements around to their friends on social media, thereby giving your marketing messages more ‘virality’.

However, things may go the other way around if you didn’t do it right, your so-called humorous marketing messages can also make you, public’s number one enemy too.

A wrong ‘move’ in your humorous marketing approach can make your brand look silly

One famous example of humorous marketing disasters today is the ‘Unhate Campaign’ by United Colors of Benetton; where the world leaders are being ‘photo-shopped’ to kiss one another. Immediately after the launch of this controversial ad campaign, it received tons of negative criticisms from many media bodies, government organisations and worst of all, from prospective customers around the world. This ad does receive a lot of free publicity, however in a wrong and unexpected way.

Finally, it took me some time to find this politically correct ‘Unhate’ campaign picture. Photos credits: Flickr (Sunipehk)

Rule of the thumb, the marketer needs to exercise wisdom when he or she wants to put humor in the marketing messages. Here are five basic guidelines.

1)  Break the Rules ‘Correctly’

Use the correct tool to break the rules

Breaking the rules creates curiosity and stirs attention from your prospects. However , do it correctly. Breaking the rules doesn’t mean you can talk about anything under the sun. Do not mention anything that are biased towards religion, races, politics, sex or any other sensitive remarks. Even if the joke could make someone laugh until they drop on the floor, it might also offend a typical group of people. So, do it wisely.

A wise man once said, “words can make or break a relationship”

2) Be Relevant 

No matter how funny your marketing messages are, you should still put extra focus on relevancy with your targeted group of prospects. Try not to go out of point. The worst thing that would ever happen to any marketer is to associate its products with the wrong group of targeted audience. At the end of the day, the purpose of your marketing messages (that includes the tons of creative juices and the money you spend on producing and spreading the ads), is to convert your targeted prospects into buying customers. Non-relevant will lose that purpose.

Irrelevant ads will lead your brand to nowhere

3) Be Clear in Your Message

Be clear.  Do not have the urge to fly to the off-beaten tracks of confusion. Don’t make your prospects think “What the xxxx is that?” after they have seen your ads. Just remember, the simpler your humorous marketing messages, the better and the clearer it would be in your prospects minds.

Be as clear as a monkey checking for fleas on a dog… By the way, where’s the logic behind this?

4) Leave a Deep Positive Impression

Do something different so that it will leave a deeper impression on your prospects. Moreover, try to relate your humorous marketing message with something that is very close to the prospects’ daily activities so that whenever they see that familiar encounter, your brand can suddenly flash in their minds.

Humorous Ads Tend to Leave a Deeper Impressions on Customers’ Heads if Do it Well

However, do it right as well. If not, your brand may be remembered by the prospects in a negative way.

5) Don’t Lose Focus on Your Brand 

“Don’t Lose Focus”

Humor makes someone day; we would just laugh it off and be happy about ourselves when we look or read about the silly humorous ads. However, don’t lose focus on your brand.

Yes… Continue to focus on the heart ( your brand)

Some company facebook pages (even big brands) today tend to overdo it, when they post the jokes, funny pictures and  funny quotes that are totally unrelated to their brands or the industry they are at.

Funny and silly jokes do get passed around on social media better however they will also make your brand lose its focus. When your brand loses its focus, your brand will not be seen as an expert in your niche industry and there goes your potential business. This is so strict that even if you have 100,000 facebook fans, your funny jokes will just be another funny jokes to them. It will not going to make them be interested in your products and services. Hence, always be focused.

Get people interested in your brand more than your funny ads……..

One suggestion perhaps, is to do a test first on your ad, ask for feedback from your peers before you release to the public.

One rule of advice: Gather feedback from your peers on the effectiveness of your humorous ads before you release it to the masses

In a nutshell, humor can make or break your branding; humor can be very viral and effective if you do it right. It can also be ineffective and will make your brand look silly if you do not know how to handle it well. Good luck!