5 Ways Humor Sells

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

Who doesn't love a good laugh? If you can seriously think of that person, I want to avoid them. Laughter makes us feel good. It brings us together, connecting us as human beings regardless of our differences. Think about what you most enjoy on social media or online. Is it articles related to your business or the latest trending hilarious videos, memes, or hashtags? Yep, me too. I'll take the lawyer who's stuck in a cat filter over business-related facts and stats any time.


Of course, we need non-funny information as well as marketing for our own businesses. So, what about a combination of facts, stats, and humor? The potential is marketing gold. Here are 5 ways humor-infused marketing can skyrocket your brand's success:

1. Humor Grabs Attention.

Among the dizzying array of media competing for our attention, humor is an attention-grabbing superstar. In his article, "The CMO's Guide To Using Humor In Marketing, writer Steve Olenski lists "Attention-grabbing" as the #1 benefit of humor used in marketing. He says, "Humor often stands out from other marketing and advertising attempts because it's naturally colorful and original."

With our attention spans at all-time lows,"Squirrel!" the element of humor can be invaluable.


2. Humor is Shareable.

What is the first thing we do when we see something funny (after we laugh, grin, guffaw, chuckle)?

We share.

In the article, "4 reasons you shouldn't be afraid to be funny on social media," writer Angie Pascale quotes Robert R. Provine, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Maryland Baltimore County: "We laugh 30 times more when we're with other people than when we're alone."

Pascale goes on to say, "Laughter eases tension and forms a sense of unity through groups. Get your Facebook fans or Twitter followers laughing, and you'll be helping to establish a sense of community and building connections with your brand and amongst your fans and followers."

When your brand's humor-laden ad is being shared, your brand is being shared. Viral, anyone?


#3 Humor Makes Your Brand More Relatable

It's reassuring to find out that I am not the only person who accidentally places my car keys in the refrigerator. Or leaves my purse and latte on the roof of my car while I drive away from the coffee shop. Or...

Anyway, it feels good to know we are not the odd-man-out, so to speak. In her article "When to Use Humor in Content Marketing, Emily Gaudette explains, "People don't just love funny content - they love the sensation of thinking, 'Hey, I have that problem too!'"

When your brand is seen as relatable, it is also seen as more trustworthy, human, and inviting. Gaudette goes on to say, "Fundamentally, humor marketing increases engagement. Whether you make a funny infographic, cleverly caption your Instagram photos, publish a hilarious Tweet, or write a side-splitting blog post, your audience will be more likely to read through your entire post, leave comments, share your content with their friends, and come back for more."

#4 Humor Increases Memorability

In her article "Humor Marketing 101: Funny Marketing is Serious Business," Jennifer G. says, "Apart from being inherently boring, the problem with dry, humorless content is that it's also forgettable. To be successful in content marketing, when every brand is competing against thousands of others for audience attention, the content you serve your audience must be interesting, memorable, and (perhaps, most importantly) shareable."

Humor provides all three. Further, Olenski says, "Humor is linked to higher recall, which means any message imbued with humor will be easier for your target demographics to remember."

Anyone who saw the January 2000 Super Bowl XXXIV commercial "Cat Herding" for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) will never forget it.


#5 Humor Leverages Brand Familiarity

In Gaudette's article, humorist and Nova Southeastern University professor Dr. James Barry explains, "The difference between an individual making a joke and a brand making a joke is that the individual's only aim is to entertain. A brand has to entertain and connect the joke to their brand image. They're using laughter to leverage brand familiarity."

We're all comfortable with what's familiar. All brands want their clients and customers to be at ease, and humorous marketing that produces familiarity accomplishes that goal.

In addition, Mayo Clinic states that laughter:

  • Activates and relieves stress response

  • Improves the immune system

  • Relieves pain

  • Increases personal satisfaction

  • Improves mood

Who wouldn't want to spread that kind of good? A brand that does all of that through its marketing is not only recognized and remembered, it is a brand that provides a wonderful gift to society - Laughter.

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