The Importance of Humor in Marketing

As I was scrolling through my news feed a few weeks back, I came across a story about the Mayor of a town called Uranus, Missouri and why he was upset about the town newspaper being called the Uranus Examiner. So, of course having the sense of humor of a child – I simply had to google this – to see if it was real or a goof. It turns out it was true. I also came across this brilliant and hilarious piece of marketing from a local business in the same town:


I got a good chuckle out of the advertisement and it made me realize how important humor is to effective marketing. A smiling customer is one who is much more likely to purchase your goods or services, so humor opens the door to establishing a relationship with a potential prospect. It allows you to connect with them in a way that is unspoken and laughter is the best medicine in life and business.

So what makes humor such an effective marketing technique? In the opinion of this marketer, it has to have a little bit of an edge. Depending on your brand image, the line of offending your audience is going to move. One of my favorite ad campaigns of all-time was the Orlando Jones 7-Up campaign from 1999 to 2002. It was brilliant and funny – and also playful in its mocking of advertising in general. A slogan like Make 7 UP Yours is a horrific idea – but it lends itself to great humor and a memorable ad. It also has that edginess that is needed. It’s not dirty or offensive, but it’s certainly not innocent humor.  All in all, it was a campaign that was extremely successful because it was funny and it made people connect with the brand.

7 up yours

Another example of an ad that successfully used humor was the Wendy’s ad from the 1980’s. The ad was a huge hit and still makes people laugh to this day. It was an ad that really moved Wendy’s up the food chain (pun intended) in the fast food industry. It’s memorable because people laughed and it became a pop culture catch phrase. This is a great example of the power of humor in advertising.


Another reason why humor is so effective is people like to laugh. In a world full of responsibilities, pain and disappointment, humor is a way for people to share a moment of happiness. Sharing a laugh with a friend or a good advertisement means something. It can brighten someones day and if as a marketer you can do that – there is a good chance you will land a new customer.

So, my friends, the advice I can give you tonight is always interject humor into your marketing efforts. As the quote from Van Wilder tells us “Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive.” As much as we want our brand and product to have a certain seriousness and deep meaning, never lose sight of the fact – we’re supposed to be having fun doing our job. So, let a little humor into your marketing ideas, it will get you great results.


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