Impact of humour in ads Humour can be defined as the capability to be laughing at things, the way in which everybody sees that some things are entertaining, or the value of being funny. Funniness is generally used within publicity nowadays whether this is on radio, in newspapers, or on TV as part of daily advertising communications campaigns. TV marketing tells most of its stories in thirty second periods. With such short time frame to communicate a message across, advertisers have used humour as a way of breaking through the noise and clutter in an attempt to grab the attention of the viewer.
Feelings evoked through the use of humour can also lead brand positive associations, as well as increasing the comprehension levels of the viewer. Although humour is commonly used in advertising campaigns today and due to the complexities involved in its measurement, the actual effectiveness of humour as communications tool is still a subject of much debate. On one hand, humour can enhance positive attitudes towards the product being promoted. On the other hand, the use of humour may be regarded as unsuitable for the product that is being promoted.
If humour draws attention away from the product or message that the advertiser is trying to communicate, what is the real effectiveness of it as a tool of communication and why do advertisers still use it? A number of studies have been conducted regarding the use of humour in advertising. Although humour has been used in advertising for many years, due to its complexity in nature, only a few have been able to understand its actual impact and effectiveness.
Despite humour being an effective mechanism for drawing attention, it is crucial for advertisers to find the appropriate type of humour for the appropriate product in order to ensure success. Attention is enhanced if the type of humour used is directly related to the product that is being promoted, therefore increasing advertising effectiveness. Advantages and drawbacks of using humour in ads !!! Several brands used to humour in their ads in order to hold consumer’s attention. Indeed, a consumer remembers more a funny ad. In the past, ads were often boring and geeky.
Nowadays, each brand tries to be more and more original, thoughtful and interesting. TV advertising is very important for increasing consumer’s awareness. Indeed, a commercial permits to improve the brand’s identity which is its fundamental means of consumer recognition. In addition, it symbolizes the brand’s differentiation from competitors and transmits the values of the brand. Consequently, all brands can’t use humour in their ads because it is difficult to produce a funny ad for the prevention of sexually diseases. Introduction
Humour is often used in print and television media to sell products. How effective is it? It depends on how you look it. It is interesting to know what is the impact of ads on sells. Even if people find the humour amusing, does it sell? The worth thing with humour is that it is open to misinterpretation. The risk is that others might find it offensive. Humour in advertising remains controversial. Humour in Advertising Introduction The Encyclopedia Britannica defines humor as a ? §form of communication in which a complex, mental stimulus illuminates, or amuses, or elicits the reflex of laughter??.
Many marketers use humor in advertising as a way of appealing to consumer? ¦s emotions. These positive emotions can potentially lead to cognitive processes that entice the consumer to purchase the related product. Doing it right means not only engaging the prospect but getting them to remember the product. However, that depends, among others, on Social and psychological factors, How a person has been socialized may affect there judgment of humorous advertising. Humorous advertising can be found in variety of forms including TV, radio, print media and online. What Is Humour?
There is a rather large amount of terms standing in context with humour already, this indicates that there cannot be one single definition but rather a whole field concerned with this topic. Advantages There are many different advantages for using humor in advertising. People will tend to pay more attention to a humorous commercial, than a commercial that is a factual or serious one, opening themselves up to be influenced. They will actually look for your ads as they are easier to remember and talk about them if they are good. People like funny things; they relax and pay attention when they perceive that there is humor in the advertisement.
It can help to put them into a good mood and helps to create a more comfortable atmosphere, which enables a more positive image and a more approachable product to the consumer. Advertising humor is at its most effective when it is being used with established and frequently purchased goods. This is because a more established company has a stronger brand identity and is already well known to the consumer. The media industry is booming. There has been a steep rise in the number of television channels, which has meant a lot more programming and many more advertisements vying for the consumer’s attention.
The question many advertising professionals and students are pondering over is — how will your ad create an impact amidst such clutter? What must you keep in mind while striving to make an advertisement that works? Top advertising gurus like Rohit Srivastava, vice president, account planning, Contract Advertising; Abhijeet Awasthi, creative director, O&M; Josy Paul, country head & national creative director, RMG Davidshare and Hanoz Mogrelia, creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi share their advertising mantras with you. Humour scores
Rohit Srivastava, Contract Advertising (they’ve done campaigns like Cadbury’s Celebrations, Shoppers’ Stop), says, “People do not watch the media for advertisements. Ads, by and large, tend to be an interruption. When a commercial is entertaining, the viewer’s indifference can be overcome. ” While this can be done in a number of ways, like using emotions to move the viewer or by tickling his funny bone, it is the use of humour that remains one of the most preferred methods of making an ad memorable. “Humour is the best way to cut clutter. If your ad manages to bring a smile to the iewer’s face, half the job is done. It ensures instant brand recall,” says Abhijeet Awasthi, O&M (their campaigns include Hutch, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, Fevicol, Fevikwik). Know when to use it Advertising, like any other field, does not have any absolute thumb rules; in fact, the rules of the game are contextual. In other words, the strategy you employ while creating an ad or a campaign will vary from product to product, depending on the objective of your campaign and the kind of audience you wish to target. Srivastava says, “Humour is a very powerful tool.
It is one of the strongest hooks. At the same time, young advertising aspirants must realise advertising is not only about entertainment. The eventual goal is to build a brand and help increase sales. So the decision on whether to use humour, and to what extent one must use it, should depend on the message your brand wants to give out. ” He further explains, “Humour is best suited for products that a consumer would buy instinctively; say, a chewing gum or a soft drink. These brands won’t be persuasive, per se, but they will attempt to make an impact by making the viewer laugh.
If the consumer needs to make an important decision while selecting your brand, for example, a car or an insurance policy, then humour, if at all it is used, must be imbibed with the message. ” A good example would be the Tata Indica V2 commercial, which brings a smile to the viewer’s face even as it makes a strong point about the unique features the car offers. Know how to use it The kind of humour used in a commercial must depend on the target audience. Hanoz Mogrelia, Saatchi & Saatchi, (Sunsilk [ Images ], UNICEF, Toyota [ Images ]) elaborates on the kind of humour an advertisement may use.
According to him, the humour may be: ~ Exaggerated This may be targeted at kids and teenagers. Indians have a penchant for a little bit of melodrama and exaggerated humour can be a hit if used intelligently. An example of exaggerated humour is the Fevicol ‘Pakde rehna, chodna nahin’ ad. ~ Subtle Fevicol’s famous ad, which shows a rickety, overcrowded truck with many people hanging onto it, is a satirical take on the crowded travel conditions in India [ Images ]. It steers towards subtlety, because it mirrors real life and says a lot without ‘literally’ saying anything.
Such ads are generally targeted towards adults and are a great hit internationally too. The Fevicol ad won a Silver Lion at Cannes [ Images ], an award at The One Show and was also a finalist at the Clio Awards. ~ Black This type of humour mirrors life and is targeted at adults. An example can be the M-Seal ‘Ek tapakti boondh’ advertisement. Josy Paul, country head & national creative director, RMG David, (NITCO Paints, INTELENET) says, “The viewer will laugh when he or she identifies with the advertisement.
Take the case of the Fevicol bus ad or the Alpenliebe ‘Lagey raho’ ad. These advertisements are a tongue-in-cheek view at what happens around us. ” Talk in the consumer’s language Leaving aside just humour, the consumer must be able to identify with the ad. Talk in the people’s language, think like they would, and half your job is done. A famous example would be the Surf Lalitaji campaign in the 1980’s, which instantly connected with housewives around the country. Lalitaji was the main character in the commercial, a brainchild of ad guru Alyque Padamsee [ Images ].
She was a typical Indian housewife who bargains with shopkeepers but emphasises it is better to buy a product that is value-for-money than buying one that is cheaper but not as effective. Laugh = Buy? Yes, humour cuts clutter for the brand but, at the end of the day, does it contribute in increasing sales? Although certain brands say they have experienced an increase in sales after a particularly witty, attention-catching ad, at the end of the day, most admen believe it does not guarantee an increase in sales even if it is a brilliant way of cutting clutter.
Paul says, “The viewer may not want to spend his hard-earned money on an expensive product just because the commercial made him laugh. It works sometimes, doesn’t at others. There is no hard and fast rule. Sales will increase if the ad has the right message, if the entire campaign is well-planned and if the product lives up to its claims. ” Srivastava agrees, “Building salience for the brand is most important. Brand salience means that your brand is the first thing that comes to the consumer’s mind when he thinks of that particular line of products.
For example, until a short while ago, Bisleri was synonymous with mineral water. How you go about building brand salience — whether you use humour or emotions or a celebrity — is secondary. ” Tips for advertising aspirants ~ Focus on sales All these ad professionals were unanimous about one thing. Advertising is not always about making great-looking, intelligent ads. At the end of the day, you are being paid by a client to increase his product’s sales — so THAT ought to be your primary concern. ~ Analyse other ads
Watch advertisements that come on the tube and analyse them — see whether the commercial convinced you to buy the product; if yes, then what convinced you, and if not, then what, in your opinion, did the ad lack? The more advertisements you watch with a keen eye, the more your knowledge will increase. ~ Look for inspiration Have a keen and observant eye and allow society to be your inspiration. ~ Write, write, write The only manner in which you can hone your writing skills is by writing. And writing doesn’t mean using high-brow language. Write simple.
In advertising, you have to express complex emotions and thoughts in simple words. ~ Understand the objective of your campaign You need to know whether your campaign is introducing your brand in the market, or building its image, or informing the viewer about a particular offer, and so on. ~ Zero in on your target audience Build your campaign depending on the target audience. The style of the commercials, the language used, the situation depicted, the kind of humour used, if any, all these factors depend on your target audience. Advertising is all about role-playing.
You have to put yourself in the shoes of the specific group of consumers you intend to target. Make the viewer identify with what you are saying. Srivastava concludes by saying, “Humour is a means, and not the end. Moreover, it is just one of the means. The first step is for you to decide the objective of your campaign. Identify problems you may face and opportunities you may avail of. Remember the most important rule of advertising — there are no rules. ” The role of humour dates back to many years when all of us used to view films like the Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy.
These actors and characters really made all of us laugh when we sat and watched their movies. Even all our Hindi and regional movies in India always had a comedian to play a very important role and provide the movie a touch of humour to give the audience some fun and joy. Every Hindi movie had an actor like Mehmood, Jagdeep, Deven Verma or an Asrani who played a very important role in making the movie entertaining and thrilling. The same strategy is used by many advertisers in India into their advertising to get noticed and stand out in the clutter with memorable humour which remains sticky in the viewer’s mind.
In fact news papers like the Times of India have made every reader smile early morning with R. K. Laxman’s cartoon. Even individual personality or celebrities try and use humour to position themselves differently in the people’s minds. One such example that is top of mind is our Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav. His witty and funny speeches and replies have positioned him differently amongst other politicians. So humour as a tool has been a strong weapon for many brands to draw the customers’ attention. Some Definition of Humour in Advertising: Humour’ in the dictionary means a quality – being amusing or comic but in advertising it is serious business. In advertising, humour is more than just making a bunch of people laugh. Some of the best brands in India have leveraged humour to such an extent that the viewers look forward for newness in humour each time they see a new commercial from that brand. To illustrate, Fevicol has been one of those brands which have used humour so intelligently and subtly that it remains in people’s minds. Here again one needs to closely view the product and the category before applying humour to sell your product.
According to David Ogilvy 30 per cent of advertising is based on humour. Humour sells if used creatively with a strong idea and great execution. Claude Hopkins, the father of modern advertising had a different view on this. He was of the opinion that people don’t buy from clowns. But in India over the last two decades humour has been drawing lot of attention for communicating a product. Also the conventional wisdom of thinking among our people is that when you buy products it should deliver some value and benefits. These could be nutritious for a health beverage, labour saving for a washing machine or a dishwasher.
Role of Humour: With more and more channels mushrooming, clutter has become a significant problem for most brands. Hence to beat the clutter and break the ice, humour has been used by many brands to answer the problem. Over a period of time humour has been proved to be one of the best techniques to keep the customer laughing and grab his attention with some sticky and creative idea. The proof of the pudding for any humour based on advertising remains in forcing the audience watch, laugh and most importantly is able to recall the brand easily.
Brands must ensure that if they are using humour to sell a product then the connect and the equity of the brand should not be diluted. According to some research humorous ads are recalled fast and easily and it also elevates the consumer’s happiness and mood. Finally humour captures the viewer’s attention, cuts through the ad clutter and enhances recall. If not crafted properly humour can also backfire at times. Product and Brand connect: It sometimes so happens that a joke in an advertisement is so powerful that the consumer tends to forget the brand.
Hence it is important that there should be a strong connect between the product and the humour that you are trying to convey. The Pizza world ad showing a hosepipe being used to cool off someone who just had a spicy pizza is a good and relevant example which connects with the brand and really communicates that when you ask for a spicy pizza we deliver it with full pride. Understanding the nuances of the brand and the audience is very important. Overindulgence of humour can put down the audience and the brand if not executed in the right taste.
The Amul undergarments ads which tried to use humour and sex to sell their brand never went off well with many consumers. The brand did get some publicity due to controversy but did not win the hearts of the target audience. Hence it is important to base your joke on the core values of the product and the service proposition the brand is offering. No product connect means no effectiveness. All these results in huge wastage of the marketing budget. Types of Humour in advertising: Using a comedian: Here instead of building humour in the advertising one can use a comedian actor to promote the brand.
One’s choice of comedian has to match the values of the brand. One of the most memorable advertisements that have used a comedian well has been Charlie Chaplin for Cherry Blossom shoe polish. The most recent one in this space using an Indian comedian which has been noticeable and successful is Domino’s Pizza which has plugged in Paresh Raval very cleverly. Capitalizing on the current topics : Use the current hot topic in all walks of life which is funny, sticky, memorable and controversial. Amul Butter has been doing these for several years.
The advertising deployed has been very humorous and are always based on the current topics with a tongue-in-cheek approach. People never get fatigued watching the Amul ads. People eagerly wait for what Amul Butter outdoor campaigns by constantly looking at the prime hoarding points where Amul butter is visible. Strong idea based humour: Here the strong creative idea is carefully blended with subtle humour. The case in example is Fevicol. The powerful idea with humour helps in beating the clutter. Centre Shock electric gum is another ood example where a strong advertising idea (Idea sprung up from the product) with the help of humour helped in translating into a great piece of campaign. Saint Goblin glass is another wonderful example of how humour has been used subtly. The restaurant advertisement (where the water is thrown) created by the company is so refreshing that one never gets bored of viewing it. Using the right type humour in advertising will be determined by clearly defining your objectives and positioning of your product. This, supported with a strong idea will further help you to create good advertising which can be sticky and memorable for a long time.
Humour will help if it is relevant: Mostly humour is used in products which is low in investment and which has high impulse purchase. (Candy, beer and mosquito repellents). One cannot totally generalize this, as consumer durable products have also used humour effectively. Humour may not work in category like condoms, sanitary napkins as these products need to explain the benefits of the product more clearly. Similarly cars and diamonds may also not use humour as the decision process to purchase is long. Finally we need to remember that humorous campaigns are difficult to design and create.
Over exaggeration of humour may have negative effect on the brand. People may remember the joke but not the message and the brand. It can upset individuals if not done tastefully. Products can also flop and brand equity may erode. While humour is a strong and interesting route to create a great advertising campaign, one must also keep in mind that the imagery, core values of the brand and the positioning does not deviate. If your positioning is perfect then humour with a great idea can do wonders for the brand