A good dose of humour is just what the marketing doctor ordered

Taking a humorous approach in your marketing efforts might prove more fruitful than you think. A clever campaign can be a highly effective way of connecting with audiences and expand upon your brand

In the past, marketing was all about explaining the product and telling customers exactly what they needed to know. This is where digital marketing has separated itself from that tradition, going from direct email and online newspaper ads to branded content on social media – providing more creative solutions on how you can market your product or brand.

Standing out among the many is one of the toughest challenges facing current and future businesses. Everyone craves attention either through social media popularity or industry recognition. In this regard there can be huge benefits for taking risks, thinking outside the box and finding humour in a marketing world that quite often plays it safe.

Generating curiosity
The tipping point in any branded roll out is when the audience is purely entertained by the content in your campaign. Achieving such a high level of social positioning in your marketing efforts can be difficult if it does not come natural. However, pulling off such an achievement can have your business go beyond the idea of what a marketing campaign should be – making phenomenally engaging content and generate social media buzz.


So how do you achieve genuine curiosity from people? Well, how about showing off your company’s personality through humour and differentiating yourself with more ‘feel-good’ content. If your content is exceptional it will play a substantial part in increasing audience engagement and your followers will be interested in your creative content and ideas. This will generate not only a space for entertaining marketing content, but also a knowledge platform for others aspiring to the same level of creativity.

Even though humour does not guarantee money in your pocket it can definitely expand your brand awareness and loyalty. Social media always attracts interest through humour and it can extend your content further through shares and comments. Especially timely content that reflects viral social media posts gains a lot of attention if done right. Authenticity also plays a factor in how these posts play out. However, always keep your audience in mind when creating witty marketing content. If they don’t find your humorous posts appealing you’ll be back to square one.

3 examples of creative marketing
Remember back in Febuary of 2015 when everybody flipped out about ‘the dress‘? Nobody could figure out the colour of the dress posted by the Scottish artist, Caitlin McNeill, and the picture went viral on social media as well as television networks extensively covering the undistinguishable piece of fabric, asking: “Is the dress black and blue or white and gold?”

Lego responded with this clever tweet:


There was also the case of companies celebrating legalisation of gay marriage in the US with creative posts, where several businesses were lining up to support #LoveWins. On Facebook you could change the colours of your profile picture with the rainbow flag and Google responded with a rainbow homepage. However, Mentos cleverly responded by putting up this image in respons to #LoveWins:


Mentors achieved both public and news media respons for their imaginative way of showcasing support at the same time as promoting their product.

Taco Bell has had a long running history with funny campaigns and great one-liners on their social media profiles. One of them was this post of what they referred to as a ‘family portrait’ at one of their restaurants:


Again, generating a lot of buzz and responses from their followers on social media. This is a great example of how honesty and perception of a fast food chain can play into the outreach of a company’s brand.

What elements does the three campaigns have in common that makes us want to be a part of the conversation and interact with their content? First, they make us laugh, which cleverly presents a different side of the company’s brand. Second, they make you more willing to either support Lego, Mentos or Taco Bell, because they share a more humanistic side of themselves and not a sterile corporate image. Third, by being clever and creative they connect with audiences on a level that stretches further than the company itself, becoming a living brand that adapts over time and surprises its audience. These three elements can become powerful marketing tools that brings in audiences rather than your run-of-the-mill campaign.

Trust your instincts
There is definitely a science to what we share on social media, however understanding the underlying ideas behind what makes content shareable is difficult. It can be tricky figuring out what type of content people are gonna love or reject. However, as we saw in the three examples, this is what builds connections – commenting on viral content, being political, showcasing self awareness in regards to people’s perception of your brand and so much more.

The main point to take away from humour in your marketing effort is your audience and how their perception of a brand often makes or breaks their purchasing decisions. Encouraging a more humanistic culture within your marketing endeavours can be a fine line to walk, but when it succeeds there is no telling where you’ll end up.

So, when you do feel inspired, don’t be afraid to act upon these instincts. It might pay off greatly.

No risk, no reward

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