It’s a bit stressful to write a post when everyone expects you to start with a joke & show off your sense of humor. As a side note, marketers are also perennially a bit stressed. Or maybe a little more than a bit. Maybe more than a little more.
I was once talking to a friend over samosa and chai, randomly blabbering about the weather and how Bangaloreans like complaining about the weather at everywhere other than Bangalore. I asked him if he thought it would rain today. We do this a lot in Bangalore, btw – bet over the weather without really betting anything on it, because everyone knows that everyone wins – it can rain, hail and shine all in one day here. He stared at me for a full minute looking quite blank. And then said, “Oh.”
He again stared for a few seconds, which felt like a few minutes. And then, “Uh, maybe. I was thinking about … that ad I just saw on facebook. We can do something similar, you know. I mean, for that campaign we talked about the other day. You know?”
Me: “Today is a Sunday. Im eating samosa. Im thinking about whether I can go for my run or not based on whether it will rain or not…”
Friend: “Oh common. You’re smart. Smartness doesn’t take a holiday on Sunday. What do you think? Can it be done?”
Me: <Loud sigh> Alright…
<discusses ad campaigns>
#1 The Stress is Real
Marketers can be a little more than a little stressed – and not just on weekdays. Stress, quite like smartness, doesn’t go on a holiday on Sundays. And what weapons of combat do they have for that stress? Gym? Maybe. Smoking? Yeah, for the weak hearted ones.
Ladies and gentlemen and your pets reading this post – science has done wonders to prove how humor is not just a good medicine, but also a great stress buster! Read this, in case you are the type who loves research and stats and that sort of a thing. A good sense of humor and the ability to laugh at anything gives the inherent ability to get detached from a problem for just enough time to think objectively about it, and come up with a wiser solution.
#2 Humor Sells
Do you remember that funny cat video your friend showed you? Or the meme on Donald Trump? Nothing more need be said. I’ll say it anyway.
You remember what you laugh at. You re-watch it many times. You share it with your friend – partly to show how cool you are, sometimes to flirt <wink>, you also keep it open in your browser for longer. Funny content ranks higher, goes viral faster, and remains on the web for longer. This is a good read on how humor plays a role in making content go round the world in less than 365 seconds (read ‘viral’ – I just hate that word, that’s all).
Marketers learn all this in their high school – or whatever is the high school equivalent of their education. If they are gifted with a sense of humor, they just gravitate towards the field where their talents shine best. If not, they have to work hard for it. Humor in marketing is like the potato in my samosa.
#3 We Like the People Who Make Us Laugh
And we like the ways in which they make us laugh – be it ads, their gifs, their festival wishes on facebook, their taglines or the way they give wisecrack answers to random trolls on Twitter. It has been proven time and again that brands which use humor as one of their integral brand values, strike more trust in their customers, have more brand loyal customers, and find it easier to grow a following. “Humor sells” is an advertising adage, and for good reason.
This article in The Entrepreneur talks a lot about all of that. Top of mind recall is highest with brands that use humor in some form or the other. Marketers – those little engines that crank out all those jokes you laugh at – work hard at making their humor shine through.
Marketing can be as complicated as your earphones. Humor makes it okay. If you can joke about it & make a few people around you laugh, it doesn’t hurt as bad. It just becomes raw material for more jokes which is exactly what you need to keep popping those ideas and ad campaigns which don’t leave your head on Sundays.