Laughing Matters – How to Make Humor Work for Your Brand 
By Jeremy Anderson
FoodMix Brand Love Created with Humor

Heard any good jokes lately? Well, if you’ve been paying attention to the vast majority of modern advertising the past few years, the answer is probably a pretty resounding no. Whether it’s a response to increased social sensitivity or simply digital overload, sadly, conservative corporate leadership has led us to a world where laughter has definitely been lacking in a lot of brands’ creative briefs. 

If you’re a conservative corporate overlord and you’re reading this, we at FoodMix are gently urging you to reconsider your stance on humor in relation to your brand (we will restrain ourselves from beating you with our funny bones). Consider this – the average human being is exposed to over 10,000 ads per day. We as marketers are kidding ourselves if we believe that continuing to trot out the same dry, corporate gobbledygook over and over will win them over – let alone engage their interest for a microsecond.  

Lost all hope yet? Hold on because some good news is on the horizon – recent media discussions suggest that the public is both ready and waiting for a resurgence in humor.  Case in point – the 2024 Super Bowl. In a sea of big-budget attempts to engage our attention, what ads stood out like a flamingo in a flock of pigeons? You guessed it – the funny ones. From Ben Affleck and his hip-hop crew, the “DunKings,” annoying Jennifer Lopez to Michael Cera taking full credit for creating CeraVe, the best ads both put a smile on our faces and made us remember the brand long after the laughter died down. 

Humor doesn’t have to be confined to traditional TV commercials. In our increasingly online world, it’s very easy for brands to dip their toes into the humor pool through various mediums. Social platforms provide a versatile space to experiment with lighter, entertaining content that can captivate audiences in new and unexpected ways. 

In the age of constant content, where consumers are overloaded with information, humor emerges as a much more easily digestible option. It’s not just about delivering a message; it’s about creating content that people willingly consume. Using humor as the fuel for brand content is a much more enjoyable way to power the public’s insatiable appetite for information. 

Sorry to burst your bubble, B2B world, but shockingly humor is not exclusive to consumer-focused campaigns. Laughter is a very powerful tool in the traditional world of corporate communications. Not only does the cognitive dissonance of seeing something different than the same old business blah blah shown ad nauseum make an audience sit up and take notice, but a touch of humor can also humanize your brand, allowing it to be both more approachable and more memorable. 

When incorporating humor, it’s crucial to follow principles that maintain a positive brand image, because like every good comedian knows – you absolutely have to know how to read the room and play to the crowd. Humor should never come at the expense of dignity or respect. Make fun or light of your own brand, steering clear of targeting customers or third-party groups. Adopt a kind and inclusive tone, ensuring that language choices align with the brand’s values. 

By embracing humor, you can help your brand navigate new worlds of engagement with your audience. From social media to B2B and B2B2C communications, the versatility of humor knows no bounds. By adhering to the principles of making fun of oneself, being kind, and choosing the right language, brands can successfully leverage humor to Grow Brand Love that creates memorable and positive connections with their audience.  

Ready to Work