Its Not Funny Unless it Sells

| Total Words: 703

We’ve all encountered humor in advertising. TV ads showing smart dogs fetching their owners a beer. Radio spots with aliens purifying our drinking water. Print ads with famous people wearing milk mustaches. Many use dry wit. Others are just plain silly. A few are in bad taste. And some, heaven forbid, aren’t even funny.

Humor has its place

Does humor really work in advertising? Is it okay to get a few laughs when talking about your product or service? Does humor sell? There are no absolutes, no easy answers. What we do know is that, as in real life, humor has its place. In advertising, that place must always be clearly defined and understood. For humor used indiscriminately can be a disasterfor your product, your image and your sales. And that’s not funny.

Making human contact

The object of humor is to make human contact and break the boredom barrier. This invisible barrier goes up the second your audience is exposed to any advertising. It’s the result of tens of thousands of ads that confront us every year. For the human brain, its a matter of survival. It simply shuts out what it sees or hears and says, I...

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