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HUMOR IN ADVERTISING. Juan-Jose Calle. What is Humor?. One theory states that humor results from incongruity or deviations from expectations. In other words humor can be something unrealistic, exaggerated, or unexpected .

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humor in advertising

HUMOR IN ADVERTISING

Juan-Jose Calle

what is humor
What is Humor?
  • One theory states that humor results from incongruity or deviations from expectations.
  • In other words humor can be something unrealistic, exaggerated, or unexpected.
  • Mowen, J.C., & Minor M.S. (2001) Consumer Behavior-A Framework. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall
topics of discussion
Topics of Discussion
  • The effectiveness of inserting Humor in advertising.
  • Does Humor always work?
  • How can you plan the use of humor?
effectiveness
Effectiveness
  • Humor can influence attitudes and behaviors:
  • Humor places people in a good mood, which in turn lowers counterarguments to the message.
  • Humor can attract attention to an ad and increase its recall and comprehension.
  • Its strongest effect is that it increases the likeness of the advertising.

Mowen, J.C., & Minor M.S. (2001) Consumer Behavior-A Framework. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall

effectiveness1
Effectiveness…..
  • Humor has to be planned carefully in order to avoid unanticipated negative effects:
  • Humor can reduce the comprehension of the message.
  • Using humor may shorten the life of the ads.
  • It can have a negative effect on various audiences.
effectiveness2
Effectiveness…..
  • The humor has to be naturally related to the product or situation in some way.
  • The effects of humor interact with the prior brand evaluation of consumers to influence attitudes. For example:
study the moderating role of humor in advertising
Study: The Moderating Role of Humor in Advertising
  • The study created humorous or nonhumorous ads for a pen. In addition, prior evaluations(P.E.) of the pen were varied by giving fictitious Consumer Reports ratings. Thus, some respondents rated the pen very positively and some very negatively. The results revealed that:
study
Study…..
  • When prior evaluations were positive and the ad humorous, their attitudes and purchase intentions increased substantially.
  • When prior evaluations were negative and the ad humorous, their attitudes and purchase intentions plummeted.
  • When prior evaluations were negative and the ad serious, attitudes and purchase intentions increased.
  • When prior evaluations were positive and the ad serious, attitudes and purchase intentions decreased.

Mowen, J.C., & Minor M.S. (2001) Consumer Behavior-A Framework. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall

mnemonic of the study
Mnemonic of the Study
  • If Prior Evaluationand ADthen Purchase Intention
  • + + +
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  • - - +
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real world example
Real World Example
  • Firestone is now trying to rebuild its image of poor quality and carelessness.
how are they approaching the situation
How are they approaching the situation?
  • They are focusing on trying to show that now quality control and customer satisfaction is a must.
  • They have created a program that reminds it users when it is time to check the pressure in the tires at www.tiresafety.com

From www.bridgestone-firestone.com

another real world example
Another Real World Example
  • In 1993, milk consumption in California had declined steadily for 20 years, so milk processors from all over the state banded together to do something about it.
  • The research that followed revealed some very interesting insights:
  • People know about all they need to know about milk. It is white, comes in gallons, and is good for you.
  • You cannot substitute any other beverage for milk when you have got a mouth full of chocolate chip cookies or a bowl of your favorite cereal.
  • Finally and most importantly, people notice milk when they suddenly run out of it.

www.gotmilk.com/story.html

does it really work
Does It Really Work?
  • The decline in milk sales has been halted. But beyond sales, GOT MILK? has become part of the American vernacular. People like Cosby, Roseanne, Rosie and Leno have done GOT MILK? comedy skits.

www.gotmilk.com/story.html

  • It has been proven that cartoons provoke sufficient customer response rates despite assertions by marketing experts that only a few readers or potential customers get the joke. Such a mindframe is outdated and is detrimental to marketing efforts since it underestimates the customer. That humor does not work is not conventional wisdom and is probably based on only a few individuals’ failures to generate the desired market response utilizing the technique.

Heinecke, Stu (1997), “Proof Positive: humor does work.” Direct Marketing, pp. 36 (5)

slide20
Humorous television commercials have to be visual to be internationally perceived as funny, although many countries do not believe humor is an acceptable advertising tool. Cultural references and language-based puns should be avoided as these are rarely understood internationally. The use of gags, puns, and jokes is mainly Western, with the Japanese and Chinese in particular having a different sense of humor. Americans are also reticent about using humor as advertising is considered a serious business, while some feel that advertising can create the most positive brand reaction through laughter.

Archer, Belinda (1994), “Does humour cross borders?” Campaign, pp. 32 (2)

how can you plan the use of humor
How can you plan the use of Humor?
  • Focus on the recipient’s identity, not yours:

Remember who is important.

  • Never use cartoons as just another form of teaser copy:

Tease and Humor do not mix. If you have used tease in your humor, you might have insulted your audience.

  • Focus on affinities:

Focus on the things of Prime Personal Importance to your target market.

  • Psychographics, not demographics:

Get into their heads. Get to know what and how they think.

  • Make sure the recipient comes out on top:

Compliment your recipients’ egos.

slide22

Use comic tension:

Bewildered faces, tense faces, and conflict is the synthesis of humor.

Always refer to recipients out-of-frame.

Never use gender-specific references.

Take a reality check.

Is the ad really worth the recipients’ time?

Always use the best talent available.

Heinecke, Stu (1996), “Something NEW Under the Sun.” Direct Marketing. Available at www.interactivefeatures.com/10rules.html