It may seem like a Kraft Dinner philosophy. But it actually works.
Ad agency people have always prided themselves on delivering clever solutions. But cleverness only produces wry smirks and begrudging acknowledgements. Funny is where it’s at.
Genuinely funny ads – and there’s one at the bottom of this post – get people talking and sharing. We associate funny ads with good-hearted brands. That is, as long as the brand itself is relevant to the spot and intelligently integrated into it. We all know those funny spots from the company we can’t remember.
As I see it, there are three main obstacles to overcome if you want to get people laughing at an ad.
> One is that humour is not universal. A funny ad to you will produce looks of consternation or outrage from, say, Agnes Macdonald, 78, of Comox Valley. You really have to know your audience well to lob a joke out there as an advertisement.
> A second obstacle is that most funny ads fall flat. Just like most jokes. There are a lot of things that can go awry – and do – between conception and realization.
> The third is that scripted humour can never match spontaneous laughs. Even when well done.
To buttress this last point, here is my idea of a funny TV ad (an installment from the classic Hamlet Cigar campaign out of the UK.) followed by a YouTube clip found through searching randomly for “funniest videos”.
If you can find a funnier ad or video, please whack the links in the comments section.