Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Advertisements - Knowing When Humor Is An Appropriate Tool

"A joke is a very serious thing." ~Winston Churchill

When advertising a product or a service, humor can prove to be a very powerful tool. That is one of the reasons why a joke is a serious affair. The effectiveness of humor in advertising depends on its aptness. It also depends on an array of other parameters, such as the origin, maturity, intellect and education of the audience. The context or scope of humor is also very important to the success of the objective.

When humor is used for no rhyme or reason, it becomes a gag. Gags have a fleeting existence, as opposed to humor. Humor has a long and impressionable shelf-life. It stays in people's memories and gives them joy as many times as they are reminded of it. On the other hand, misdirected humor can mutilate your advertising message beyond recognition.

Humor in Advertising: A Thought Starter
When you are thinking of an idea for advertising a product or ...
a service, it helps to subconsciously keep the building blocks of humor in mind. Here is a thought-starter.
Humor can be projected as a reflection or replica of reality. The other approach can be to bring to light, ambiguities, paradoxes and ironies to surprise the mind of the audience.

There are four broad methods that an advertisement can use to conjure smiles and laughter.
* Hyperbole or the use of rhetoric exaggeration.
* Metaphor or the use of analogy between two ideas
* Farce or conscious absurdity or gibberish
* Reframing or drawing conclusions out of context
* Timing or the use of rhythm, differential delivery, tempo and pause to augment humor.

Humor in Advertising: Making it Work
There is no one way to guarantee the success of humor in ads. However, there are ways to ensure that the advertisement, product, idea and humor are aligned closely. The discussion below reveals the secrets of making humor work to your advertisement's success.
The best treatment you can give a comic idea is thought and scrutiny. It is very important to think about the idea. 

There can be ways to make it more effective. Some ideas that seem to click in the beginning may or may not be as amusing afterwards. The second part is scrutiny. When you put your idea through a test with an unbiased audience, you learn the true potential of your idea. One guideline for new advertisers is to use subtle humor because carrying a campaign on loud humor requires utterly brilliant ideas and years of experience. It is important to keep the humor contemporary with the target audience. Humor that involves a boss, a loving couple, a cute baby, etc., will leave an impression in most cases, yet your target audience and your customers might not find it worth their time.

Two mistakes that advertisers recurrently make are too much product placement in the ads and showing an inherent aversion towards edgy ideas. 

If you wish to learn more about the secrets of using humor in advertising visit
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