The power of humor in Marketing

Marketing and advertising has evolved considerably in the past. From traditional marketing via newspapers, magazines and posters to the era of digitalization including emails, websites, television commercials, social media and the list goes on.

The fact that marketing is virtually everywhere in today’s free-market economies is a dramatic change from a few decades ago. Marketing emerged in the early 1900s, but it didn’t affect most companies right away. Many businesses went through distinct phases on their way to becoming marketing oriented.

There are various forms of marketing with digital and social media marketing covering a significant part of that. Companies have come up with some very innovative ideas lately with OTT ads becoming popular day by day. In the recent years, a new form of marketing is seen to have developed, emerged and has amused the viewers hugely.

(KFC is one of the giant brands to frequently use humor in there marketing)

HUMOR MARKETING has played a vital role in marketing campaigns of numerous businesses. Several companies including corporate giants like PepsiCo, Coke, KFC, Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy's and many more have adopted humor marketing as a key component of there marketing strategies.

(The biggest competitors in the beverage section taking a dig at each other)

With this comes a key question, what exactly is the biological effect of humor on a person ? There are many points to be paid attention to:

  • Practically all individuals love smiling and having chuckles, as a result of which it also builds a sense of cooperation with humorous content. If you are smart enough to combine the message you want to convey and the humor, miracles can happen. The joke that doesn’t outrage anybody’s sentiments is an incredible method for developing trust and relations.
  • Research has shown that humor also activates certain parts of brain which makes it easier for the person to memorize the content unknowingly i.e. humor triggers part of subconsciousness through which memories last longer.
  • Start scrolling your social media handles, for example, which content has the most likes or retweets or shares? Of course the humorous ones!! Any content ranging from memes to funny reels on Instagram, all grab a lot of attention if good humor is put at work and it can make the content go viral as well.
( Healthy and humorous rivalries are becoming common in recent times)

Though the idea of humor marketing may sound very appealing and effective, and may be you are ready to put the humor marketing in use. There are certain things which are needed to keep in mind before applying it. Consider the following things to develop an effective humor marketing strategy:

  • Avoid Controversies

Anything related to controversial topics such as religion needs to be avoided as it may result in a few chuckles but their is a huge chance that it will enrage certain sections of the community and further deplete the image of the brand, so it is better to avoid such topics.

  • Be cautious

You cannot make every single person giggle and that is alright. We all know that the humor is subjective. What is funny to you may not be funny to others. You need to keep the humor game as healthy as possible so as to nullify the chances of offending people. A certain level of generosity is required even in humor as the tiniest of anything may not be pleasing to people. Be very cautious.

( Dove marketing ’’RACIST” ad that backfired)
  • Target segmentations

Identifying your target audience is a very vital step which cannot be skipped at any cost. For example, people above the 40 years age bracket may not find something funny which millennials do. If you want to target the audience consisting of adults only, you may avoid including the humor which suits the millennials and vice versa. The conclusion is the right target market has to be identified and the plan of humor marketing should be based on that.

  • Engage in social media

Social media platforms are the hub of marketing nowadays and you cant miss to try to tap on the massive users of social media. You may get more news on social media nowadays than a news channel ( It is a fact). It is very important to stay with the trend while using humor marketing, as one thing gets boring after a certain period and people do not pay much attention to that particular topic. You need to keep up with the trend at all times which also tests your creativity.

No matter if you are in a food business or an automobile business, humor marketing can be used with any business. In the past years it has shown some significant results for the marketers and some giant companies. The two most important things that you need is a sane mind and some insane and mind boggling humor!

Student at Symbiosis International University, Pune | Specialization - Marketing and Finance | Digital and Social Media Marketer