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How Humor Can Help Tell Your Brand’s Story

Thursday - June 27th, 2013

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

How Humor Can Help Tell Your Brand’s Story

At 522 Digital, all of our efforts in web design and marketing management are focused on the story of your brand. We’re truly passionate about discovering your character and helping you define what makes your brand’s voice unique. What’s something that can make your voice unique? Humor.

While many brands try to avoid humor because it might not seem professional or serious, the brands that do have a sense of humor are able to have a bit of creative fun with marketing. What’s even better is when you can be rest assured knowing that humor-based marketing works. Why else do you think so many people YouTube their favorite commercials after each Super Bowl game?

Humor is important because it:

  • Gives your brand a voice. With so many different kinds of humor, there are so many ways to make your marketing content unique. A voice, with a little bit of humor sprinkled in, makes your brand more memorable and helps consumers easily identify it. Some types of humor to include: laugh-at-life humor, slapstick, sarcasm, bonding, self-deprecating, dry, witty, a laugh at another’s expense, bathroom humor, and cultural humor.
  • Grabs attention. A sales pitch is a quick way to turn off consumers. Using humor, on the other hand, quickly grabs their attention and holds it. Once you have their attention, you can transition into more traditional sales pitching, but only after you break the ice with humor.
  • Makes your brand more likeable. People vote based on emotions – both in the voting booth and with their hard-earned cash. Making your brand more likeable through humor also makes it more likely that consumers will share information and ultimately spend their money with you.

One of the reasons many brands avoid humor is because there’s a fine line between funny and taking the joke a little too far. However, brands that carefully monitor their advertising efforts can ensure that the humor is in good taste and only improves the image of the brand.

Why So Serious?

To successfully implement humor in your next marketing campaign, don’t take yourself too seriously. A prime example of this is Charmin. On January 2, 2013, the toilet paper brand posted a Facebook status reading, “It’s the first number 2 of the year. Make it a good one.” This play on words and literal humor struck a chord with users. Because the post was made on Facebook, user likes, comments, and shares helped the post gain incredible attraction. It’s all about being creative.

Diffuse Consumer Anger

With the rise of the internet, many consumers are turning to social media to lodge their complaints against companies. Negative comments online can become potentially explosive situations and paint a negative image of your brand. However, simply posting a witty comeback (appropriately!) can diffuse the tension!

For instance, a user who questioned the quality and strength of smart cars tweeted, “Saw a bird had crapped on a Smart Car. Totaled it.” @SmartCarUSA replied, “Couldn’t have been one bird…sounds more like 4.5 million. (Seriously, we did the math).”

By kindly replying in a light-hearted way, Smart Car USA was able to not only defend itself, but also get free publicity in the process. You can do the same!

Be Personable – And Consistent

Not all of your humor posts have to be directly related to your brand, especially on social media. The biggest consideration in posting is to simply be consistent with your posts. It’s better to post a funny line or image on a daily basis than to only post one stellar punch line every month. Personality and consistency are vital!

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