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How Humor Can Help Your Marketing Content

by | Nov 3, 2014 | Digital Marketing

“Laughter is the best medicine!”

Why use humor in your marketing content? Humor is a hook! It can have the same impact as a strong headline that grabs the audience’s attention. A benefit of adding humor in your marketing campaigns is that it makes the audience more likely to pay attention and helps to keep their interest. An example of a successful humorous campaign is Taco Bell using a talking Chihuahua in their campaigns. Taco Bell experienced a substantial rise in sales and the mascot gained popularity as a pop icon.

Humor is effective in marketing because it delivers something unexpected and interesting. A lot of marketing material is straightforward and contains only facts and figures. You can take a different approach and incorporate humor into the material. Making someone laugh can act as an icebreaker and make the audience less apprehensive and more likely to view your material. However, you have to make sure that you incorporate humor in an effective manner.

Tips for Using Humor in Your Marketing Materials

The goal of using humor is to increase the effectiveness of your content. Here are some tips for using humor in your marketing materials.

Match the Humor to Your Target Audience

It’s only funny if your audience thinks it’s funny. Different things are funny to different people and you need to make sure your humor is aligned with your target audience. A joke that may be hilarious to one person may be offensive to another. To avoid this sticky situation you must consider your target market. Have a segment with a narrow focus and shared demographics and gear the humor toward the segment. This will increase the likelihood that everyone will understand and appreciate your humor.

Focus On a Problem That Your Company Can Solve

A great subject to build the humor around is a problem that your company can solve. Comedy frequently has its roots in pain, so a good starting point is where your customer is having business problems. Use humor to explore the consequences of a problem and exaggerate the point to build humor.

Don’t lose your message in the humor

No matter how funny your marketing messages are don’t forget that the goal is to educate your prospects about your product. You want to make sure that you don’t lose the message in the humor. You can avoid this by putting extra focus on the relevancy of your product. This will allow your content to both entertain and educate. Remember, the goal of marketing is to convert your prospects into buying customers and not just to entertain them.

Add a Dash of Personality for Better Engagement

Some marketing content is without personality and non-memorable, but adding humor can increase the personality of your piece. Marketing content that is comprised of product specs, prices and contact details can be easily forgotten. People are more likely to remember sensational or funny things. Spice up your content to make your message and brand have a higher engagement rate.

Benefits of using Humor

There are many benefits to incorporating humor into your marketing materials. Here are a few:

Improvement of Brand Recognition

One advantage of using humor is that you can build better brand recognition. People will remember messages that entertain them more than just data and facts. It can also distance your product from your competitors. Think about the recent Kia car commercials where they use hamsters driving a Kia car. The use of humor increased the visibility and the brand of Kia cars because of the entertaining commercials. In other words, brand recognition will improve as consumers have good feelings and exposure to the products.

Enhancement of Marketing Message

Humor can enhance marketing by reinforcing the marketing message to the prospects. You have to remember the purpose of your content is to do more than just entertain or amuse. The goal is to have humor aid in getting the marketing message across to the prospect.

Better Connection with Customers

Another advantage to using humor is that it can show a lighter side of a brand. Humor makes a message stand out from the crowd. Use it instead of a simple sales pitch to build a connection with customers. Humor can be used as a good icebreaker and help to break down barriers between the company and prospect. It gets people excited and interested in your message.

When Humor Can Hamper Your Marketing Efforts

Using humor has many advantages but if you are not careful it can also hamper your marketing efforts. There are unintended consequences that can happen if humor is used incorrectly: you can offend your target audience, you can lose focus on your brand, or you can make your brand look silly. You must make sure that your humor is something that your target audience can relate to and won’t take offense. You must have a clear understanding of your target audience and how they view the subject of your humor.

You can try to be funny but come up short. One person’s view of humor may not be the same as someone else’s. Research and test the content to ensure that your material is actually viewed as funny by the intended audience. Something that your employees laugh about may not be funny to your potential clients. The tone and content have to be consistent and appropriate with your brand. If you fail to do this, your product could lose credibility.

You want to be able to make light of something that your target audience can relate to without offending anyone. If you fail to do this, it can distance you from your intended target. The idea is to make fun of a challenge your target audience can relate to. This way you are demonstrating that you understand the challenges they are facing.

You also have to be careful to focus on your brand. The classic example of this is the Superbowl commercials. They have evolved to be very entertaining but frequently people remember the commercial but not the product. You want to make sure that you entertain but also tie in your product and your marketing message.


Humor can be effective if you do it right, but it can also be ineffective if not handled well. Some of the most memorable ad campaigns contain humor. Advertisers use this strategy to attract customers to their product because consumers like to be entertained without a hard sales pitch. The key to funny advertising is assuring the humor is appropriate to both the product and customer.


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