Humor definitely has a time and place in any industry. But many brands are hesitant to try anything because it can easily be done tastelessly. That being said, humor can often help make consumers establish a stronger connection to a product or brand so it is worth a brainstorm at the very least
If you’re willing to jump in and give humor a try whether on social media or in a whole campaign check out some tips for using humor:
- When the content goal is to make the consumer laugh or smile.
- To help set a customer at ease with usually concern-causing products or service.
- When playing off a #joke day or #National____Day on social media.
- If the audience associates fun and entertainment with your brand.
- On religious or culturally established holidays UNLESS your brand’s campaign has a light humor element that doesn’t accidently ridicule anyone’s beliefs.
- When referring to race or religion.
- When referring to a customer complaint or question as this can really make customers angry.
- When you’re trying to encourage a negative emotion.
Take the time and be prepared for not everyone to like or understand your humor. You may not intend for your funny element or theme to offend anyone but it still could. For example, Doritos SuperBowl™ commercial with the baby ultrasound caused a lot of pro-life and pro-choice articles to erupt. It was a joke that the baby couldn’t resist the chips, but the point is that in choosing this situation to make funny, Doritos did create an opportunity for bad press.
Another example is a recent #AprilFool’sDay joke by Loki_the_wolfdog on Instagram, where Loki’s owner posted a “April Fool’s Day” joke that Loki had passed on. Followers were furious and offended about faking the beloved dog’s death, and the account later issued an apology that afternoon.
Humor is a powerful tool but use caution when employing it with your brand’s image and purpose in mind.