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Funny or Failure? Adding Humor to Your Marketing Campaign

When it comes to building your brand through marketing, it can be tough to stand out. To distinguish yourself from similar businesses and products while working under the looming notion that “it’s” already been done. The use of humor is a timeless approach for marketers to deliver a strong branded message that is memorable and effective.

Adding humor to advertising is an art and done right, you can have a viral video or ad campaign that skips across the World Wide Web in a matter of moments. Adding humor into your marketing campaign can be trickier than you think for many reasons. You don’t just want them to laugh at your ad; you want them to remember your message too.

Memory plays a big role in the effectiveness of a video marketing campaign and funny videos have a way of sticking with you. Humor triggers an emotional reaction to your brand’s message. This is what makes it so memorable for the viewer. It is this same emotion that inspires them to share your humorous advertisement with their friends and family.

True humor is often hard to hit squarely on the head and all too often attempts at being funny do more harm than good. There is a difference between invoking a smile and producing a laugh out loud response. So what makes funny, funny? One key ingredient is the element of surprise. The tough part is making that surprise relevant to your brand.

Humorous marketing can be used even for those industries that aren’t naturally funny. For example, most people don’t consider learning a foreign language fun or funny. For many high school students, learning Spanish is everything but funny. However, the commercials from Berlitz, less commonly known language instruction software, have added funny to their marketing vocabulary and are coming up with some very memorable campaigns.


In an industry where Rosetta Stone has become synonymous with learning a foreign language, Berlitz is using humor to catch up to the competition. While the videos produced by Berlitz are knee-slappers, each delivers the message of just how important it is to know a foreign language-even if that language is English. Not to mention how that language can help you out of some pretty serious situations.

Trying out humor can be a scary experience. There is nothing worse than going for funny and falling short. Some humor is thought-provoking and this is a positive effect to have on viewers. The opposite end of the scale is that some humor can be offensive and you definitely don’t want to take your marketing campaign there.

Remember it’s either funny or it’s not and if there is any doubt, better safe than sorry and try again.

Rafferty Pendery