Funny Business

 - by JK

Advertising and humour often go hand-in-hand. But do funny ads actually work?

As you may be aware, I am a fan of comedy. I just love being humoured; by comedians, sitcoms, friends and sometimes, ads too.

For a copywriter like me, humour offers a much-needed respite from all the mind-numbing chaos.

So here’s a recent ad from Maxis that I thought was really funny. Yes, I am amazed at myself for showcasing a Maxis ad positively, considering how I whacked them the last time. But credit is due where it is due I suppose.

But wait. On with the ad first…

Now, if you are like me – someone who absolutely hates online videos that go into buffering mode – you may have found the ad funny. But did the ad compel any kind of action from you?

Again, if you are like me – someone who can be a real lazy arse sometimes – you didn’t take any action. As in call Maxis, look for more info online or run to the nearest Maxis outlet to register for this wonderful fibre internet.

Clowning

Don't clown around, unless you are promoting a clown...

This is the problem with funny ads. While they may steal your attention and be memorable; it doesn’t guarantee a response from consumers.

And don’t for a moment think being funny improves brand awareness either.

People usually only remember that a particular ad is funny, but often struggle to remember the brand or product. Think about your favourite funny ad; do you remember the product?

Ace Metrix – a television and video analytics agency – studied funny ads in the US for over a year and drew the following conclusions:

  • Funny ads were memorable and appealing, but were less likely to increase desire or purchase intent
  • Humour in ads work better when it is used as a supplement rather than a replacement

When consumers are not compelled to take action after seeing your ad, it usually means money down the drain.

So be funny at your own peril, or risk becoming a joke.