Humor: The Most Underrated Tool in Your Marketing Toolbelt

Betty White looking at a snickers bar

Written by: Jessica Hochanadel

Young or old, everyone loves to laugh. Often, marketers have a bad reputation among consumers because the perception is that we’re “always trying to sell something.” We can thank door to door salesmen for that one. Another reason why consumers may be wary of marketers is because they view us as dishonest. This assumption could be caused by a plethora of reasons like a consumer’s personal experience with a product or service, or an advertising scandal that made its way into the national news. As marketers, we know that the scope of our function within a business spans much wider than just selling stuff. Using comedy to communicate value to the consumer can distance your business from these misconceptions and potentially increase consumer trust. 

Image: Betty White Snickers Commercial Credit by BBDO

Using Humor on Social Media

Screenshot of Twitter exchange between Wendy's and McDonalds

People trust people. Let me reword that, people trust people they relate to. Even more trust is extended to those we know or look up to. Social media connects us with people we trust, whether that be your best friend or Nicki Minaj. For this reason, earned media is incredibly valuable for a business. A good example of companies utilizing humor on social media platforms are fast food restaurants on Twitter. Do you remember the Twitter beef between McDonald’s and Wendy’s? Both companies gained copious amounts of earned media by making their consumer base laugh. You could even argue that this increased brand loyalty for both companies as consumers arguing over which company made the better burn. Using comedy on social media platforms produces ample opportunities for earned media. 

The End of The Line

Okay, let’s put the fun and games aside for a bit and recognize that there are inappropriate scenarios for comedy in marketing. Certain industries offer services and/or products that would not benefit from using humor in their marketing efforts. Understanding the level of seriousness within your industry and among your consumer base should clue you in to whether you should make a viral meme your next tweet.  

As it was illustrated above, there are numerous ways in which humor can make your marketing efforts more effective. Humor can make your brand easier to recall in the mind of consumers. Humanizing your brand can create a more trustworthy and relatable reputation. Finally, distinguishing your product/service from competitors can also be made easier when using comedy to communicate value. Getting creative and utilizing the tool of humor is not only fun but can also be extremely rewarding. Tag us in your favorite marketing memes on Instagram