Advertising With Humour-The Golden Rule

Advertising With Humour-The Golden Rule

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The temptation to use humour in advertising is well-founded; if you get it ‘right’, it works!

One of the most successful advertising campaigns in 2010 was that for ‘Old Spice’ by Wieden and Kennedy. It combined two of the most powerful elements that can be used to sell-it was funny and it was sexy, to both men and women! It also recognised that in many countries a particular demographic group accounts for a high percentage of the spending, and appealed to that group-women. It increased sales of what was previously thought of as an ‘old man’s’ scent, and made it a popular range amongst the under 25s!
Humour is a subjective thing, though. It is vital that careful connsideration be given to this; what is funny to one person may be offensive to another, whether this is due to misinterpretation or to other factors such as offended morals. Ads which use poorly researched humour can actually have a negative effect on consumer buying.
Know your target audience! This was clearly illustrated by the failure of an expensive campaign by the Australian Tourism Board, with the tagline of ‘Where The Bloody Hell Are Ya?’ In Australia, this is taken as a term of endearment; to the rest of the world this was largely seen as an insult! It was these potential visitors to whom the campaign was targetted, but were thereby negatively impacted! Guests don’t tend to want to visit if you insult them!
Similarly, many older Australians were offended by one company’s attempt at humour in their erectile dysfunction ads. A sensitive subject at best, it was this age group that constituted the majority of the company’s consumer base.
Humour does work in advertising if used wisely. importantly,though, research your audience and know ‘Who The Bloody Hell’ they are!

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