Incorporating humor into your brand voice is a great tactic to grab your audience’s attention and create a long-lasting impression. Customers interact with your brand when you evoke emotions in general. What more if that emotion is happiness?
However, humor and comedy are not that easy to incorporate into your marketing campaigns. Just look at those many brands that had to deal with a PR crisis after they included what they thought was comedy in their messaging.
In other words, there’s a right way to insert humor and comedy into your brand. In this article, let’s look at some tips you should follow to generate results:
1. Know your brand voice
Your brand’s voice is the way you interact with your customers. It will, in turn, determine your brand’s communication style.
That said, before deciding whether or not to incorporate humor into your marketing messages, you need to determine your brand’s personality first. Knowing your brand’s voice will help you determine whether incorporating humor is appropriate in the first place. Your brand voice should also be consistent across channels and stages of your marketing funnel.
For instance, if you deal with B2B finance clients and prefer to be seen as a formal and data-driven brand, choosing humor may not be the best option. On the other hand, if you decide to be seen as a fun brand, you can drive your communication through wit and humor.
Let’s take McDonald’s’ example.
The fast-food giant relies heavily on humor in its content marketing. Check out this post on their Instagram account:
The campaign worked not just because of the use of humor its audience could relate to. McDonald’s’ giveaways sealed the deal! Who doesn’t want to get free food just for posting content in the first place?
Overall, though, the Mcdonald’s campaign worked because its use of humor is reflective of its brand personality. So, when Mcdonald’s cracked a joke, people didn’t find it weird.
2. Select the type of humor
Once you decide humor is part of your brand voice, you need to determine the type of humor you’ll use to promote your brand.
There are different kinds of humor—topical, observational, or dark humor. Let’s take a closer look at each one of these.
Topical humor is all about leveraging trends to gain organic visibility. For instance, you can craft messages around something people are already talking about. That can be a football match or a good Netflix series.
Here’s how KFC, the fast-food giant, took advantage of the much-talked-about cast reunion of the famous American TV series Friends in 2021. In the series, Joey liked to eat a lot. So, for fans of the series, this ad made them laugh.
On the other hand, observational comedy is all about turning everyday quirks into relatable jokes. Here’s an example from Innocent Drinks, a leading beverage brand:
Source: Innocent Drinks
Surely everyone can relate to that.
The last type of humor is dark humor. Sometimes, cracking jokes about bad things is the best coping mechanism. Do you disagree? Take a look at this example:
Source: Film Daily
However, make sure that you don’t offend anyone with your messages (more on this later). You don’t want your strategy backfiring on you at the end of the day.
While it’s good to spend time creating humorous content that suits your brand voice, you have to focus on other things, too. A funny message won’t get the desired results if it takes too long to load.
You only have a few seconds to catch your viewers’ attention. So, make sure your images are compressed if you’re using any. You need a web host to ensure fast page loading, especially if your funny message is on your website.
3. Be creative
Creativity is the lifeblood of a brand’s marketing efforts. Once you decide you’ll incorporate humor into your marketing messages, you still need to find ways to get that humor across in creative ways to make your brand stand out.
After all, you want to catch your audience’s attention first. Without their attention, they wouldn’t be able to sit through a marketing message and understand its humor in the first place.
So, what are some creative ways to get your humor across?
Just be original. Creativity equals originality. Without originality and innovation, you’re unlikely to evoke emotions.
Also, catchy visuals are your friend. Memes, for instance, are a great tool. You can source them directly from the web or create your own. Meme-fying your content is one of the hottest marketing trends and can up your game:
Source: The Atlantic
You can also craft messages around out-of-the-ordinary concepts. Check out this example from Zopa, a British financial services company. Zopa manages to catch people’s attention with this post for numerous reasons. For one, the company uses vibrant colors in this post. For another, the concept itself is new and original. You don’t see a talking credit card and talking coins every day, after all.
Combining humor with your creative marketing can make your brand cut through the clutter. The technique should then level the playing field for small businesses that don’t have a big marketing budget.
4. Ensure humor is appropriate
When putting out content that reflects your brand voice, you need to ensure the humor you use is appropriate.
Common sense is critical here. When in doubt about the appropriateness of a message, it might as well scrap it altogether.
But the best way to check is to test the message first.
So, run your creative videos, posts, ads by other people. Look for those not emotionally invested in your campaign, your friends, family, or even that stranger on the street. If your punch line fails to get the desired reaction, and your audience gets hurt or offended instead, you know that humor is not the right humor and should be tweaked or scrapped altogether.
Here’s an example of how NOT to incorporate humor—or so Mr. Clean says is humor— into your brand. Ask any woman out there, and they’ll tell you this is downright offensive.
Source: Quality Logo Products
While humor can make any boring conversation exciting, it can make your business cringe-worthy if not executed correctly.
Depending on the nature of your business, incorporating humor can be the way to go. However, ‘being funny’ isn’t as easy as it sounds.
I shared tips you should follow to ensure your humor generates your desired reaction in this article. Make sure you know your brand’s voice, select the type of humor, and be creative. Don’t forget to ensure your humorous content is appropriate and resonates with the target audience.
Follow these tips, and you’ll up your marketing game and reach your marketing and business goals.