June 17, 2023 | Share this article

I have a mancrush on Ryan Reynolds. It’s not just the dashing good looks, or the charisma that bridges the gap between Hollywood charm and everyday relatability. It is how he has established himself as an advertising powerhouse. Just like his Marvel character “Deadpool”, he stands out as a master of wit, turning ads into entertainment that leaves us chuckling and sharing.

Welcome to the world where humor sells.
In a world where conventional marketing often struggles to captivate audiences, most advertisers elicit positive emotions to capture hearts. In fact, happiness led by humor is the most common positive emotion used in advertising. According to the Happiness Report from Oracle and Gretchen Rubin, 89% of consumers in APAC are more likely to remember ads that are funny, but humor is severely underleveraged with only 17% of brands’ offline ads and 14% of online ads actively use humor.

Humor is a gamble.
Perhaps it’s the permacrisis we find ourselves in, but most consumers prefer brands to be funny, even at the expense of paying more for their product and services. This can be seen in the report where 82% of consumers in the region are more likely to buy from a brand again if the brand uses humor.

Yet, according to a recent survey, it has been observed that 90% of business leaders in the region recognize the potential to utilize humor for improving the customer experience. They also believe that their brand could make more effort to bring smiles and laughter to customers. However, a significant proportion (76%) express concerns about incorporating humor in customer interactions. Additionally, a large majority (87%) feel limited by the lack of data insights and tools necessary to effectively implement humor in their customer interactions.

The fear is justified. Making audiences laugh is a fine art. While humor can be a shortcut to building positive emotions, an inappropriate punchline risks damaging your brand and alienating your audiences. And with a rising outrage culture, it is safer to color inside the lines.

Make advertising funny again.
Before diving into your bag of clever one-liners for your next campaign, understand that using humor is about a delicate balance of wit and message. And there are more planning considerations than your run-of-the-mill ads to have your ads leave a lasting imprint. Here are some tips to get you started:

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