Advertisers have long used humor as a powerful tool for engaging potential customers. Humor is one of the most effective ways to elicit an emotional response from consumers, which in turn spurs positive purchasing decisions. Humor also comes close to yielding a universal appeal. After all, there aren’t too many people out there who say, “I just don’t really care for laughter.” Whoever those people are, you probably don’t want them in your restaurant anyway.
The benefits of using humor in your marketing campaign are many. For starters, humor triggers the memory. Several academic studies have been conducted showing the links between humor and arousal, and arousal and memory. By making your potential customers laugh, titter, chuckle or guffaw, you are increasing the likelihood that they will remember your product or your message by a significant margin.
In the age of social media, using humor is a highly effective tactic. With a humorous campaign, you only need to tickle the fancy of a few social influencers, who will then share your ad, be it a video or image, with all of their friends.
Though the benefits of successful comedic marketing campaign are many, there are risks as well. “Dying is easy; comedy is hard,” are the legendary last words of actor Edmund Kean. Any attempt at humor always runs the risk of falling flat. So before you put your brand on the line, take the following tips into consideration:
Know Your Audience
Different kinds of humor are appealing to different demographics. For example, Nielsen studies show that humor preferences divide along gender lines, with males preferring slapstick and edgy humor while females prefer off-beat joking that does not resort to mean-spiritedness. Above all, you do not want to offend or annoy your potential customers. So do your research, determine who you want to reach and the best ways to tickle their funny bones.
Make Sure Your Message Is Relevant
You don’t want your advertisements to be more focused on being funny than on getting customers to patronize your restaurant. It’s great if you can make people laugh, but it doesn’t do you any good if they forget who it is that is making them laugh. Keep your jokes related to your restaurant and make sure the part that is most memorable also reinforces your message. For example, remember the Taco Bell Chihuahua who informed us, “Yo quiero Taco Bell”? This is a perfect use of humor in marketing, as consumers across the nation remembered and repeated the tagline and kept “Taco Bell” in the forefront of their minds.
Mix it Up
One downfall of using humor in your marketing campaign is that jokes get old faster than other messages. And once consumers start finding your jokes annoying, your ads can start to work against you. For that reason, it is a good idea to launch a flexible campaign that can be easily transformed. Stick with a theme, but don’t always use the same punch line.
Don’t Try Too Hard
Don’t force it or it won’t be funny. That’s all.
Hire a Professional
Though you might be a pretty funny person, it is still a good idea to hire a professional when starting out on a humor campaign. Professionals have experience with what works and what doesn’t, and also are able to conduct tests to ensure timing is right (for video) and the overall message is conveyed properly.
With a sense of humor and a little research, you can keep in the forefront of your customers minds and laugh your way to the bank.