The use of humour can be a great way to connect with your consumer, but you have to make sure that the laugh is connected to the main message you are trying to convey. A misplaced laugh does nothing really–yes, it can attract attention–but they are usually the ads we forget what brand name the ad is for. Humour can help articulate the insight or it can be a great way to demonstrate the experience the brand helps address. Humour can also differ over time, across different geographies or demographics. Some of the best humour is when only the target market gets the jokes. Skittles ads are hilarious for teenagers, but anyone above 35 years old just looks at those spots with total confusion.
Here are five ads that will make you laugh out loud, and link in nicely with the idea the brand is trying to communicate.
Berlitz “What are You Thinking about?”
When I show this ad to an executive training classes, it usually generates one of the biggest laughs. Most of us when trying to learn a language start to learn the basics of the language and rarely get past the point where it becomes useful. This ad really hits that insight, by taking a very important moment and showing how the coast guard can’t even save a life when it’s obvious to us all.
I remember when I worked on Child Cereals, we used to do focus groups with 5 and 6 year olds taste-testing new Lucky Charms and Trix. I used to refer to it as “birth control for brand managers” Loading a kid up with sugary cereals for 2 hours ends up with kids that seem like this kid. This ad was done as people were just starting to email ads around and it was an early favourite. Now we see the power of YouTube for showcasing funny ads.
ESPN “Michael Jordan”
Perfect humour for the serious sports fan target market of ESPN. I love ads that make the target market laugh harder than those not in the target–makes the joke even more insightful. I love the restaurant scene.
Nicoderm “Flight Attendant”
I have to slip in one of my own ads with this Nicoderm spot. This ad in it’s simplest of terms is a side-by-side demonstration of what it’s like to quit “Cold Turkey” (evil, horror, terror) versus using a patch (sweet, nice, gentle) through the personification of the actress. It really speaks to the emotional and psychological benefits of quitting smoking. This has generated millions of hits on YouTube and it won J&J’s global ad of the year in 2006.
Impulse “Art Class”
With TV being a visual medium, demonstration through visuals is a great technique. In training, I’ve used the Tango ads to showcase how to demonstrate taste through visual. This Impulse TV spot does a great show to the impact that scent can have, leveraging a human insight that we can all laugh at.
If you are in the mood to see other great advertising, here’s a few other stories:
- 5 Ads that Will Make You Burst Out Laughing
- 5 Ads that will give you Goosebumps
- New TV ad from Samsung: Is it “smart” to Take on Apple?
- Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” Campaign is stealing the Olympics
- Confession: I killed two doctors in 2006
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Other Stories You Might Like
- How to Write a Creative Brief. The creative brief really comes out of two sources, the brand positioning statement and the advertising strategy that should come from the brand plan. To read how to write a Creative Brief, click on this hyperlink: How to Write a Creative Brief
- How to Write a Brand Plan: The positioning statement helps frame what the brand is all about. However, the brand plan starts to make choices on how you’re going to make the most of that promise. Follow this hyperlink to read more on writing a Brand Plan: How to Write a Brand Plan
- Turning Brand Love into Power and Profits: The positioning statement sets up the promise that kick starts the connection between the brand and consumer. There are four other factors that connect: brand strategy, communication, innovation and experience. The connectivity is a source of power that can be leveraged into deeper profitability. To read more click on the hyper link: Love = Power = Profits
I run the Brand Leader Learning Center, with programs on a variety of topics that are all designed to make better Brand Leaders. To read more on how the Learning Center can help you as a Brand Leader click here: Brand Leadership Learning Center
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About Graham Robertson: The reason why I started Beloved Brands Inc. is to help brands realize their full potential value by generating more love for the brand. I only do two things: 1) Make Brands Better or 2) Make Brand Leaders Better. I have a reputation as someone who can find growth where others can’t, whether that’s on a turnaround, re-positioning, new launch or a sustaining high growth. And I love to make Brand Leaders better by sharing my knowledge. I’m a marketer at heart, who loves everything about brands. My background includes 20 years of CPG marketing at companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer Consumer, General Mills and Coke. My promise to you is that I will get your brand and your team in a better position for future growth. Add me on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/grahamrobertson1 so we can stay connected.