We all like a good laugh. Humor has a way of changing our thinking, and can cause us to take a look at ordinary things in an entirely new way. It humanizes and surprises, while also triggering memorability – all of which are important aspects of effective marketing.
Successful marketing often involves tugging on emotional heartstrings or creating small trauma in order to grab the attention of the consumer. Humor often gets left out of marketing efforts, but if utilized correctly, humor can turn run-of-the-mill campaigns into marketing gold.
We all love to watch the advertisements during the Super Bowl, and most of the high-budget pieces that run during the game are made to be funny for a reason – humor is incredibly effective.
Non-offensive humor triggers likability and trust, and also helps establish a more informal rapport between businesses and their customers. More importantly, it is becoming more and more mainstream with the younger generation who prefer to get their news from Colbert or Jon Stewart instead of 20/20 or Nightline.
Not always the best medicine
As effective as humor can be in your marketing efforts, its use can also backfire, and the consequences can spiral out of control in a hurry. It is important to stay away from taking sides on controversial issues, and also to keep in mind that sarcasm isn’t always received the way it was intended. Humor done wrong can easily make your business look mean or desperate.
The safest best is usually poking fun at yourself in a lighthearted way. Consider using a humors spin to breathe life into a complex or boring product. Kmart’s now infamous “Ship my pants” campaign was little more than a play on words that featured a product that we use every day.
The floral industry offers a lot of opportunities for some lighthearted marketing tactics. One clever shop boasts a sign that reads: “How Mad is She?” and features several rose bouquet options depending on the severity of the situation. This humorous approach was built for laughs, but it also comes along with an added benefit of offering customers a more personal connection with you by letting them know that you can walk in their shoes and aren’t just there to sell product.
Don’t be afraid to try a little humor with your next marketing project. Start simple and don’t force anything, always being mindful that a little goes a long way. Be sure to closely monitor feedback from your customers and most importantly, have some fun.