Incorporating humour in the marketing scheme of things has been a concept that has been thrown around and employed by several firms, with great success. We can still recall the famous Amul Baby ads which seem to have gained a sense of timelessness. If done correctly, humour works as an excellent consumer engagement and interaction tool because of the connectivity trifecta that it brings to the table – humours is relatable, memorable and builds a bond based on trust.
While there are several ways to employ humour in marketing, the following methods work best because they are time-tested; however, care must be taken to sensitize humour according to your audience’s tastes.
#1 A stand-up comedian as your brand ambassador
Probably the most effective way to infuse humour into your brand is by employing a stand-up comedian to be the face of your brand, much like how HDFC leveraged stand-up comedians and coupled its endorsement with social media, for their investment product. OLX also signed up with Kapil Sharma (from the famous Comedy Nights with Kapil Sharma) and gave a totally humorous touch to their brand. What this move did for the brand was essentially make the brand more relatable – the brand ambassadors were not about glitz and glamour, something the common man would not easily relate to. Instead, the stand-up comedians brought to the audience the humour trifecta as previously mentioned – created a communal experience around witty responses that people would enjoy and learn from, touched the consumers’ memory points by creating humorous story lines and added the much sought-after humanizing element to a product and brand that is perceived to be a drab.
#2 Witty Videos
Using videos is an excellent medium to create and share content that is witty and funny – you can get creative with the aural and visual aspects to produce a great piece of content that could leave your audience in splits, or tickle their funny bones ever-so-slightly. The goal is to create and share content that remains in the minds of your audience, and encourages them to take the appropriate action. Since videos can be easily shared through WhatsApp, you increase the potential of your brand content going viral by presenting your audience with a clever brand video.
#3 Laugh-worthy Memes
A more recent addition to marketing content, memes can work effectively to get the brand message across in a hilarious way. Essentially, memes work on the principle of taking existing social conventions and tweaking them to fit different perspectives. Based on your marketing goal and your brand’s perception, you can take an already recognized and funny social occurrence and customise it with your brand message. While memes are quite shareable, they have a shorter lifespan; therefore they are great for short-term promotions or to maintain continuous engagement with your audience
#4 Showcase your comic side through Comics
Short, laugh-worthy comics are not a very popular concept, but they carry great potential. Create strong yet clever visual content that deliver on both brand content and the humour element. These little strips of creativity can add a sprinkle of humour into your digital marketing efforts when included in your social media posts, blog posts, email marketing and so on. Comics help keep the interaction light and if done well, they have the potential of being archived by your audience!
#5 Go funny on Social Media
A dash of humour in your social media communications can go a long way. Since Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms have an inherently relaxed setting as compared to official interactions, you can tailor your brand message easily to connect emotionally with your audience. Innocent Drinks has done a great job infusing humour into their Facebook posts, so much so that their reply thread has over a thousand replies to each post!
#6 Blog your way into their hearts
Your brand’s blog is an excellent platform to deliver light-hearted content to your audience. You can get creative with your blog titles and headers and incorporate some funny titbits into your brand’s content, or create the occasional humorous post to keep things fresh and interesting.
While using a humour-infused marketing strategy is a great idea, remember that your need to thoroughly understand your audience dynamics, keep your humour ‘unintentional’ and more natural, keep in mind the overall goal of the brand communication and most importantly, be smart (do not offend your audience!) with your humour. Do not shy from taking a few risks when it comes to incorporating humour into your marketing content – a bold, relatable and memorable brand that exudes trust in every point of communication is what consumers seek – and humour can effectively deliver that!