Humor in Advertising

Many of the most memorable ad campaigns around tend to be funny. Advertisers use this strategy to attract customers to their product. Audiences like to be entertained, but not pitched. People will pay more attention to a humorous commercial than a factual or serious one, opening themselves up to be influenced. The key to funny advertising is assuring the humor is appropriate to both product and customer. The balance between funny and obnoxious can often be delicate; and a marketer must be certain the positive effects outweigh the negative before an advertisement can be introduced.

The best products to sell using humor tend to be those that consumers have to think the least about. Products that are relatively inexpensive, and often consumable, can be represented without providing a lot of facts, and that's where there's room for humor. Candy, food, alcohol, tobacco and toys/entertainment related products have proven to benefit the most from humor in their campaigns. One of the most important things to keep in mind is relevance to the product. An example of an extremely successful humorous campaign is the series of "Yo Quiero Taco Bell" commercials. The star, a tiny talking Chihuahua who is passionate about his Taco Bell got people repeating the company's name across the country. The repetition of the company name and the actual content of the commercial reinforce the message in a relevant manner. Taco Bell saw a substantial rise in sales and their own mascot became a pop icon.

Another point to consider when using humor in advertising is that different things are funny to different people. A commercial that may leave one person gripping their sides from laughter may leave a bad taste in another's mouth. The target market must always be considered. What's funny in a client presentation may not be funny on an airplane, at a country club or in a hospital. An example of a recent humorous product introduction is Mike's Hard Lemonade. These commercials feature over exaggerated and comical violence with the underlining message that no one's day is hard enough to pass up a Mike's. It failed, ranking as one of the year's most hated campaigns by both men and woman according to 2002's Ad Track, a consumer survey. The series of commercials are aimed at 21-29 year old males and the repetition of comical violence (such as a construction worker being impaled on the job and a lumberjack cutting off his own foot) gets less and less funny every time it's viewed. Eventually the joke just wore out and the commercial became annoying and offensive.

Humor in advertising tends to improve brand recognition, but does not improve product recall, message credibility, or buying intentions. In other words, consumers may be familiar with and have good feelings towards the product, but their purchasing decisions will probably not be affected. One of the major keys to a successful humorous campaign is variety, once a commercial starts to wear out there's no saving it without some variation on the concept. Humorous campaigns are often expensive because they have to be constantly changed. Advertisers must remember that while making the customer laugh, they have to keep things interesting, because old jokes die along with their products.

Mark Levit is managing partner of Partners & Levit Advertising and a professor of marketing at New York University. Partners & Levit's clients include Procter & Gamble, UnitedHealth Group, and GE Commercial Finance. For more information call 212-696-1200 or visit http://www.partnerslevit.com.

Avoid The Big Advertising Mistakes

Is your advertising copy getting the results you want? If not, look at your current... Read More

10 Tips to Use Giveaways Effectively

Walk around any trade or consumer show and you will be able to collect a... Read More

Buying Radio? Read This and Dont Waste Your Money

Pay close attention and make it work the best for you.No doubt you've listened to,... Read More

How You Measure Yourself Is How You Motivate Yourself

One of the keys to strong positive mental attitude is what you compare your personal... Read More

Increase Business By Being Nice

I have been reading articles on increasing sales using search engine optimisation as well as... Read More

Yellow Pages Ads - Buying Secrets

Yellow Pages Ads - Buying SecretsOK- let's agree that many businesses can benefit greatly from... Read More

Printing - How Do I Buy It?

Why should I care where I get my printed material from, I'll just go for... Read More

Finding Your Target Market

Achieving sales is probably the biggest challenge a web business owner has. It requires a... Read More

Tips for Using Paid Advertising

Quite a few business out there can't survive without some type of advertising and/or brand... Read More

Create Your Own Business Cards, Part 1

In this lesson, we will create a business card, using Microsoft Word. I created a... Read More

Never Be Caught Cardless Again: Five Tips to Help You Remember Business Cards

Sorry, I Don't Seem to Have a Business Card With Me...Those could be the "famous... Read More

How To Tell If An Advertisement Costs Too Much

People say it all the time: "This advertising costs too much!" They practically go into... Read More

How to Save Money by Making Your Own Sign

In the sign industry we commonly refer to the material that the sign is made... Read More

How to Write Great Headlines

According to experts, just changing the headline of an ad or sales letter has been... Read More

Does Post Card Advertising Really Work?

You've decided to try advertising your business with post cards. The idea came to you... Read More

Why Would Anyone Want Your Business Card?

Do you remember how proud you were the first time you saw your name in... Read More

What Makes Advertising Successful?

MANY INDIVIDUAL ELEMENTS COME INTO PLAY MAKING A SUCCESSFUL AD: 1. PERSUASIVE SELLING COPY. The... Read More

What Happened? Troubleshooting Poor Response from Ad Campaigns

Too many small business owners today run ad campaigns that get little to no results,... Read More

Do I Need Raised Letter or Full Color Business Cards?

If you've been searching around for business cards that will best represent the image you... Read More

Ten Ways To Sell Advertising Space Fast

1. Give your customers a discount when they spend over a certain dollar amount for... Read More

Business Plan Appeal ? Five Rules For Writing Attention Grabbing Headlines

The success of a business plan stands or falls on its ability to get potential... Read More

Small Cards, Big Ideas: Alternative Uses for Business Cards

Aggressive business card marketing isn't about handing your business cards out to everyone you... Read More

Take Advantage of Your Foes

Let's take an example that is easy to check: I am French. Among the readers... Read More

7 Essential Elements for Profit-Pulling Ads

Advertising will make or break your business. It is crucial to your success that you... Read More

How to Use the 3 Most Common Direct Marketing Measurements to Increase Your Profits!

John Wanamaker, a 19th century entrepreneur, once famously made the statement, "I know that half... Read More

4 Ways to Double the Power of Your Business Cards

Sure, everyone needs business cards. But why not make your business card do double or... Read More

10 Reasons Why Your Company Needs Custom Invitations

I am always amazed when I hear about companies who spend tens of thousands of... Read More

Print Your Marketing Postcards For A Penny, Address Them For Free, and Automate the Whole Process

This article will show you how to cut your printing costs to a penny and... Read More

Create A Killer Brochure: 9 Steps to the Perfect Piece

If you are creating a brochure, make sure you follow these 9 steps to get... Read More

Secrets to Get Free Advertising

The opportunities to get free advertising for your product or services are limited only by... Read More

Take Your Radio Ads to the Next Level

Most small businesses do not have a high powered advertising agency to produce award-winning radio... Read More

Radio Interview 101

Different Types of Station ContactReaching radio hosts (for the purpose of trying to get booked... Read More

Go Ahead Im Listening

In today's fast paced environment, interaction with family and friends is often relegated to a... Read More

Where To Call For Free Advertising And Free Business Advice

Believe it or not, there are plenty of opportunities out there for you to get... Read More

How Much Money Do I Need to Spend on Advertising?

Q: I've never really done much advertising for my business; I've always relied on networking... Read More

What To Do With Your Business Cards

Without a plan to distribute your cards, there's no need to print them in the... Read More

How to SAVE Yourself from Spending too Much Money on Advertising!

How much money have you spent in Advertising, Promotion & Marketing? If you're like most... Read More

Tips On Writing a Successful Ad

When knowledge is based on truth it is powerful!When it is critical knowledge, its presence... Read More

Womentisements

The unnecessary and extensive use of female models in advertisements is common not only in... Read More

The Online Equivalent of an Effective Newspaper Advertisement is FREE

Ask anybody who has been in business for a long enough and they will tell... Read More

How to Write Ads that Pull Orders

If your ads aren't paying off then you need this quick method in writing ads... Read More

Sex in Advertising: Does it Sell?

We're surrounded by advertisements that desperately compete for our attention. Everywhere we look, we find... Read More

Brochures - The Ultimate Sales Tool

"How brochures can help you stand out from the competition, close the deal, and even... Read More

Advertising Your Holistic Business

The most basic answer is the same answer as to the question, how does advertising... Read More

A Lesson In Advertising From The Eighteenth Century

Back in the 1760s, the great Dr Samuel Johnson delivered himself of the dictum that... Read More

If You?re Tired Of Adverts That Don?t Work And Letters That Don?t Sell, Then You Must Read This

Over the 32 years I've been involved in sales, marketing and management, I've discovered... Read More

Pros and Cons of Establishing an In-House Ad Agency

There have been several ads promoting books and reports on thissubject, or... Read More

Advertising For The Long Haul and Not the Short Term Gains

New Age Media Concepts issues its first article of many that will focus... Read More

3 Simple Steps to Getting Thousands in Free Advertising

Many entrepreneurs believe that they understand what public relations is, but very few do. Publicity... Read More

Moving Message Board

Moving message boards are used in the areas where continuous announcements, or other information are... Read More