Humour In Advertising

I love a good piece of comedy, whether it is a movie, comic or play. Because of this I find the use of humour in advertising to be highly effective. Humorous ads make the product or brand seem more relatable and approachable, therefore we are more likely to remember the ad and share it with your friends.



A Maglite (Torch company) print advertisement.




Using humour in advertising takes the risk that the ad will not be received as funny, which can be very detrimental to the brand (Schiffman et al 2014, p. 258). Humour in advertising predominantly comes from jokes; sarcasm and irony, but there are many ways marketers can make us laugh. Schiffman et al (2014) outlines several guidelines that should be followed when using these styles of humour. The humour must take into account the demographic of the ads target audience, the humour must be relevant to the product or brand, the nature of humour used should be appropriate to the product or brand and lastly humour is most effective when used in advertising for low-involvement products. When these guidelines are implemented the benefit of using humour in ads can be enormous for companies and hilarious for us as viewers.


Humour is quite significant in its persuasion, Strick et al (2013) indicates that humorous advertising is very effective at engaging consumers and standing out from other forms of advertising in our memory, as such 30% to 42% of advertising is intended to be funny, that’s great for us as viewers! For example, Old Spice are well known for their use of humour in their ads. As a low involvement purchase, when a male or female ‘shopping for her man’ is out buying male grooming products, they may choose to purchase an Old Spice old spice product in response to their enjoyment of the ad.



The Gruen Transfer is well known for its analysis of different styles of marketing and advertising. They routinely use enjoyable and funny ads in ‘The Pitch’, a section of the show in which advertising firms must “sell the unsellable”. The results of which can be highly entertaining to watch. Of course, viewing these ads also demonstrates the effectiveness of the multiple styles of humour marketers can choose from.



Lastly, for those of you still craving more funny advertising here is another video of some amusing and some rather strange ads. Ironically, many of these are Doritos ads, and now i am craving a packet of Doritos, persuasion at its greatest!




FailWinCinema 2013, The 10 Funniest Superbowl Ads of 2013 – Best Ten Super Bowl XLVII 2013 Commercials, Youtube, viewed 22 May 2015,

Old Spice 2011, Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, Youtube, Viewed 21 May 2015,

Strick, M, Holland, R, Van Baaren, R, Knippenber, A and Dijksterhuis, A 2013, ‘Humour in advertising: An associative processing model, European Review of Social Psychology, Vol. 24, Issue 1, pp. 32-69.


Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A and Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edn, Pearson Australia, NSW.


555topcats 2011, The Gruen Transfer – The Pitch – Facebook is Uncool, Youtube, Viewed 21 May 2015,



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