H is for Humour

H is for Humour

We were going to start this post off with a joke – but luckily for you we couldn’t come up with a good one (it would have been cringeworthy), so instead we’ll just jump straight into it.

Over the years there has been a steady increase in marketing strategies which included humour. Whether it’s adverts with a funny twist, cheeky slogans, or ‘epic’ social media wins – companies have learnt that there’s value in a bit of humour.

But why?

First of all – can you think of anyone who doesn’t like a little bit of humour sprinkled into their mundane day-to-day life? We’re guessing you can’t.

Second of all there are a couple of reasons as to why showing your fun side is the way to go. Let’s explore a few of them.

It makes you memorable

Most of the time, when people think of big companies they think of the standard white office cubicles with fitted carpeting and a struggling office plant. They think about people working their daily 9 to 5 in white shirts and black trousers or skirts. They think of fluorescent lighting and dull lunches.

Okay, this probably isn’t completely true – but let’s be honest when you think ‘professional’ you’re not exactly excited. Well, no need to worry because over the years companies have learnt that you can be professional  and still be fun – Google is a perfect example.

By introducing some humour into your marketing campaigns you become more memorable – if you manage to make people laugh, or even simply smile, then you’ve managed to create a positive impression. Psychologically this means that followers will associate your brand with a positive message which will make you more memorable.

Apart from that humour can also help you stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Think about Christmas adverts. Most marketers will go to the end of the World to figure out how best to tug on your heartstrings and have you reaching for the tissues. Their strategy is to connect with their audiences through emotion (which is quite a successful way of doing things). However humour might give you the edge you need.

Why?

Because while everyone else is showing tear-jerkers which make you all warm and fuzzy inside but eventually get a bit predictable, you could be making people laugh. Let’s face it – the reality is that Christmas time family gatherings will hardly ever look like the ones we see in adverts. So why not laugh about the real situation?

Ikea did this brilliantly with their 2014 #XmasNoMatterWhat advert. They showed the reality of Christmas – the messed up cables, the burnt dinner, the failed gingerbread house. This would create a sense of relateability with their audience because after all none of us are perfect and we’ve all had those table-flip moments.

The genius behind the ad though is that while it’s funny because people can relate to it, there’s still a subtle insertion of those Christmassy warm and fuzzy feelings… because after all it’s Christmas. Check it out for yourself.

It creates engagement

People will engage with things that make them happy. Positivity breeds more positivity and creates a whole cycle of happy. What’s more is that humour is entertaining- it’s shareable and connects people because everyone loves a good laugh.

This can be seen very clearly when interacting with followers on social media. You could go down the usual professional route where the people replying to messages are somewhat robotic, or you could add a touch of friendliness and credibility by allowing the people behind your company to be themselves and show their human side.

Followers don’t want to feel like a number – they want to feel as though they’re talking to a real person, because after all they are. So by allowing your employee’s personalities to shine through you’ll be establishing a connection with the person on the other end.

So if someone writes something funny in your comments, a witty comeback (which doesn’t insult them) could win you points.

Old Spice and Cadbury have high engagement due to their quick wit.

Old spice Twitter humour funny

Cadbury Twitter funny humour

Of course there are a few things you need to keep in mind – such as never crossing the thin line between being funny and being offensive, and that just because you make something funny it doesn’t mean it will work.

There’s a lot of thought that goes into marketing strategies and you must always think of every aspect and every little thing that could go wrong. Always come up with a plan B and always ensure that what you’re doing fits in with your company’s brand.

There is one golden rule you really have to follow though – you can’t have fun campaigns if the office life in your company is similar to that of a wilted lettuce leaf. If you want to have fun campaigns then you’ve got to be fun- otherwise you’re simply setting yourself up for failure.

Here at Switch we’re huge fans of fun. Feel free to drop us a line if you’d like to inject some humour into your campaigns and need some ideas!

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Julia's Story.

Online strategist by day, environmental activist by night. When she’s not curating, editing, or writing content she’s scheduling and planning. Her highlighters are her friends and she’s constantly taping to-do lists to the wall.

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