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The effectiveness of clever, humorous advertising

Humorous advertising or clever ads are risky, but appealing and the payoff can be big when executed properly.

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Clever advertising is appealing

Currently, it’s 8am and I’m about to begin research for this article. To get a feel for what’s already out there, I Google, “The effectiveness of clever advertising.” I open about 6 new tabs, with some being decent information, but mostly I find lists of humorous ads. As I wipe the tears from my laughter, I look over to the clock and it is seriously 8:51am. Oh man. There goes that hour of my life.

Need I point out the brilliance of clever advertising? Who doesn’t love a good belly laugh, especially if it’s unexpected? If you’re looking to sell your business, company, or product – appeal to people’s happiness. It’s a duh thing. Allow me to explain…

Speaking just about internet banner ads, consider these statistics: users are more likely to get into MIT than click a banner ad, more likely to survive a plane crash, more likely to birth twins, and are served over 1,700 per month… resulting in a click through rate of only about 0.1%.

Humorous advertising grabs attention

As for advertising as a whole, according to a 2012 study by the Gale Group, U.S. advertising annual revenue trumps 48 Billion dollars. You want to grab your audience’s attention – and your audience wants to laugh. Humor grabs their attention, and since you have it – fill it with what you have to offer. They’ll remember your humor, so be specific so they’ll remember your company or product as well.

Humor is in the eye of the beholder, and can definitely be misinterpreted – so tread lightly. You don’t want to offend your audience. That being said, using humor can also be extremely effective. Being clever sets you apart… and isn’t that the whole reason behind advertising? People will look for, talk about, and remember your funny ad. I, personally, like funny advertisements; it offsets the feeling of being “targeted” and makes a product or company approachable. Not to mention, how many times have you said or heard the phrase, “Have you seen that one commercial….?”

Humorous examples for inspiration:

[pl_video type=”youtube” id=”pppeJ7JhSG8″]

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Tasha Salinas is a staff writer at The American Genius, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and Journalism from Northeastern University. She is an info geek who reads, talks, & thinks way too much. You don't want to know how long it took her to write this bio.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Gary Little

    May 30, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I experimented with humorous advertising when I first got my real estate license. Not sure that it got any business for me, but every so often someone mentions they enjoyed the ads. You can see my efforts archived here: https://www.garylittle.ca/separated/

  2. MattThomson

    May 31, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I love that immediately following the sentence about banner ads being less likely to be clicked than birthing twins…sits a banner ad.

    • agbenn

      June 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      Well, AG is special in that it focuses on a direct audience, albeit several different demos. We maintain a very high click rate, and are probably a rare anomaly. We work really hard to target ads to relevant business as best we can, not to mention we’re really picky about what shows up here. Not much we can do about ads that follow you though from sites you’ve visited, or products you’ve shopped. =

  3. robb

    November 22, 2019 at 8:29 am

    For the most part, the concept of advertising has remained fundamentally the same over the years. The only changes would appear that some ad companies today are desperately seeking to become more relevant in their profession by attempting to be overtly imaginative and “over the top “clever.” Unfortunately, in the process of attempting to be nouveau riche and exceptional, it would appear those specialty production companies have lost their customer message and their ability to effectively sell to the public. What they have accomplished in many respects are entertaining videos with a confusing message.

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Business Marketing

How a Facebook boycott ended up benefitting Snapchat and Pinterest

(MARKETING) Businesses are pulling ad spends from Facebook following “Stop Hate for Profit” social media campaign, and Snapchat and Pinterest are profiting from it.

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Phone in hand open to social media, coffee held in other hand.

In June, the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign demanded social media companies be held accountable for hate speech on their platforms and prioritize people over profit. As part of the campaign, advertisers were called to boycott Facebook in July. More than 1,000 businesses, nonprofits, and other consumers supported the movement.

But, did this movement actually do any damage to Facebook, and who, if any, benefited from their missing revenue profits?

According to The Information, “what was likely crumbs falling from the table for Facebook appears to have been a feast for its smaller rivals, Snap and Pinterest.” They reported that data from Mediaocean, an ad-tech firm, showed Snap reaped the biggest benefit of the 2 social media platforms during the ad pause. Snapchat’s app saw advertisers spending more than double from July through September compared to the same time last year. And, although not as drastic, Pinterest also saw an increase of 40% in ad sales.

As a result, Facebook said its year-over-year ad revenue growth was only up 10 percent during the first 3 weeks of July. But, the company expects its ad revenue to continue that growth rate in Q3. And, some people think that Facebook is benefitting from the boycott. Claudia Page, senior vice president, product and operations at Vivendi-owned video platform Dailymotion said, “All the boycott did was open the marketplace so SMBs could spend more heavily. It freed-up inventory.”

Even CNBC reported that Wedbush analysts said in a note that Facebook will see “minimal financial impact from the boycotts.” They said about $100 million of “near term revenue is at risk.” And for Facebook, this represents less than 1% of the growth in Q3. However, despite what analysts say, there is still a chance for both Snapchat and Pinterest to hold their ground.

Yesterday, Snap reported their surprising Q3 results. Compared to the prior year, Snap’s revenue increased to $679 million, up 52% from 2019. Its net loss decreased from $227 million to $200 million compared to last year. Daily active users increased 18% year-over-year to 249 million. Also, Snap’s stock price soared more than 22% in after-hours trading. Take that Facebook!

In a prepared statement, Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman said, “As brands and other organizations used this period of uncertainty as an opportunity to evaluate their advertising spend, we saw many brands look to align their marketing efforts with platforms who share their corporate values.” As in, hint, hint, Facebook’s summer boycott did positively affect their amazing Q3 results.

So, Snapchat and Pinterest have benefited from the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Snapchat’s results show promising optimism that maybe Pinterest might fare as well. But, of course, Facebook doesn’t think they will benefit much longer. Back in July, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told his employees, “[his] guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.”

Facebook isn’t worried, but I guess we will see soon enough. Pinterest is set to report its Q3 results on October 28th and Facebook on the 29th.

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Business Marketing

Cooler temps mean restaurants have to get creative to survive

(BUSINESS MARKETING) In the midst of a pandemic and with winter approaching, restaurants are starting to find creative and sustainable ways to keep customers coming in… and warm.

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Outdoor eating at restaurants grows in popularity.

Over the last decade we have seen a change in the approach to clientele experiences in the restaurant business. It’s no longer just about how good your food is, although that is still key. Now you have to give your customers an experience to remember. There are now restaurants that feed you in the dark, and others who require you to check all your clothes at the door. Each of these provides an experience to remember alongside food that ranges from good to exquisite, depending on your taste.

Now, however, the global pandemic has rearranged how we think about dining. We can no longer just shove people into a building and create a delectable meal. If you’ve relied mostly on people coming into your restaurant, you may struggle to survive now.

The new rules of keeping clients safe means setting things up outside is the easiest means of keeping large numbers of them from crowding inside. Because of this, weather has become a key influence in a company’s daily income. Tents that were a gimmick before, only needed by presumptuous millennials, are now a requirement to keep afloat. People are rushing to make their yards into lawns that bring some in some fancy feeling.

The ties to the sun in some areas are so strong that cloudy days have been shown to drop attendance as much as 14% for the day. This will become the more apparent the colder it gets. For me, I always mention hibernation weight in the winter, when all I want to do is curl up and eat at home. Down here in Texas we are already finding cooler weather, drops into the 70s even in August and September. We are all assuming a cold winter ahead. So, a bit of foresight is finding a means of keeping your guests warm for the winter ahead.

San Francisco restaurants have started with heat lamps during their cooler evenings. Fiberglass igloos have also been added to outdoor seating as a means of temperature control. A few places down in the Lonestar state keep roaring fires going for their outdoor activities. While others actually keep you running in between beverages by encouraging volleyball matches. This is the new future ahead of us, and being memorable is the way to go.

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Business Marketing

Healthcare during pandemic goes virtual, looks to stay that way

(BUSINESS NEWS) Employment-based health insurance has already been through the ringer with COVID-19, but company healthcare options are adapting for long term.

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Stethoscope with laptop, showing healthcare going virtual.

Changes in employment-based health insurance may end up costing employers more, but will provide crucial benefits to workers responding to the healthcare challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent survey by the Business Group on Health, a member-driven advocacy organization that helps large employers navigate providing health insurance to their employees, businesses will increase access to telehealth, mental health resources, and on-site clinics in the upcoming year.

Besides the obvious impacts of the coronavirus itself, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have also rippled out to affect other aspects of public health and how we engage with medical care. With so many people staying home to reduce their in-person contacts, there has been a significant increase in the use of telehealth services such as virtual doctor’s visits. According to the survey from Business Group on Health, whose members include 74 Fortune 100 companies, more than half of large employers will offer more options for virtual healthcare in the upcoming year than in the past.

The pandemic, resulting economic fallout, and dramatic changes to our lives have inevitably exacerbated peoples’ anxieties and feelings of hopelessness. As we move into cold weather, with no end in sight to the need to socially distance, this promises to be a particularly dreary, lonely winter. Mental health support will be more necessary than ever. In 2019, 73% of large employers provided virtual mental health services. That number will increase to 91% next year, with 45% of large employers also expanding their mental health care provider networks, making it easier for employees to find the right the therapist or other mental health service provider, and making it easier to access those services from home, virtually.

In addition, there will be a 20% increase in employers offering virtual emotional well-being services. Altogether, 9 out of 10 of the employers surveyed will provide online mental health resources, which, besides virtual appointments, could also include apps, webinars, and educational videos.

There has also been a slight increase the availability of on-site clinics that provide coronavirus testing and other basic health services. This also included an expansion of resources for prenatal care, weight management, and chronic health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

These improvement won’t come free of charge. While deductibles will remain about the same, premiums and out-of-pocket costs will increase about 5%. In most cases, employers will handle these costs, rather than passing them on to employees.

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