Why You Should Use Humor In Video Marketing

  • Harry Hayes

Categories: Corporate Video Production Corporate Videos Industry Statistics Marketing Videos Product Marketing Television Commercials Video Marketing Video Production Video Production Agency Video Production Expert Video Production Services

There’s a Really Simple Reason Why You Should Use Humor in Video Marketing—People Love to Laugh. 

Why should you seriously consider using humor in video marketing? Well, the whole point of video marketing is to post content people will want to watch, get likes and shares, and build a bigger audience.

And the first videos people click are the ones that look funny. It’s human nature—people want to be entertained.

But that’s not all. Funny videos are also the ones people tend to remember, and rate highly.

Need proof? Just look at this year’s most popular Super Bowl commercials. Here are the top ten most liked Super Bowl ads, according to USA Today’s Ad Meter: 

1. Rocket Mortgage “Certain is Better”

2. Rocket Mortgage (a different one)

3. Amazon “Alexa’s Body”

4. M&Ms “Come Together”

5. Toyota “Upstream”

6. GM “No Way Norway”

7. Cheetos “It Wasn’t Me”

8. State Farm “Drake From State Farm”

9. Doritos “Flat Matthew”

10. Bud Light Seltzer “Last Year’s Lemons”

Out of this list, nine out of ten used humor. Rocket Mortgage’s commercials with comedian Tracy Morgan snagged the #1 and #2 spots (no easy feat), and GM’s #6 spot “No Way Norway” featured Will Ferrell, and was laugh-out-loud funny.

Only one of the ten didn’t use humor—Toyota’s “Upstream” at #6, a heartwarming story about paralympian Jessica Long.

This commercial featuring comedian Tracey Morgan is a good example of humor in video marketing.

Humor in Video Marketing

Need more proof? How about one of my favorite examples, Dollar Shave Club?

In 2012, Dollar Shave Club produced a very funny video for just $4,500. It immediately went viral, resulting in 12,000 orders in just 48 hours, and over 20 million views in the next three years.

A year after that, in 2016, Dollar Shave Club reportedly sold their company for $1 billion. Yes, with a “b.”

Of course, that’s only one example.Your results may vary, as the lawyers like to say.

The Right Kind of Funny

I will offer one bit of advice about humor in video marketing. It isn’t enough to be funny just for the sake of being funny. To be truly effective, the humor should relate to the product or reinforce a selling point in some way.

Legendary ad man Bill Bernbach said it this way:

“You are NOT right if in your ad you stand a man on his head just to get attention. You ARE right if you have him on his head to show how your product keeps things from falling out of his pockets.”

This was backed up in a study by the Journal of Marketing. They found that humor is most effective when it “coincides with ad objectives, is well integrated with those objectives, and is appropriate for the product category.”

More Great Examples

In the past few years, several funny ideas have stood out, in social media, in video, and in TV commercials.

Chick-fil-A has their cows, Geico has their Gecko, and State Farm has a guy named Jake.

Geico, with their Gecko spokesperson, has been using humor in video marketing for years.

The benefits? All of these brands are more relatable to consumers, have higher recall and brand recognition. That’s one of the benefits of recurring characters— they become more familiar over time.

That said, there IS a downside to using humor, at least potentially. Your humor should NEVER make fun of people or be derogatory or offensive in any way.

Another thing to keep in mind is the tone and style of humor has to match the audience. Humor can be polarizing—what one group finds funny another may not.

Years ago, I did a TV campaign aimed at I.T. professionals. It was about all the dumb things non-technical people say. The ads were HUGELY successful and popular among the target audience, but outside of that audience, people didn’t even get the jokes. 

And that’s a GOOD thing. Being able to empathize with an audience and connect when them is all that really matters.

One Last Example

Here’s one last example of humor in video marketing. After all the Covid-related difficulties of last year, Match.com did a parody commercial where they match 2020 with Satan—a “match made in hell.”

It uses the same tone and music as their other video testimonials, but with tongue firmly in cheek.

Isn’t it refreshing when companies don’t take themselves so seriously?


About the Author: 

Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions, a corporate video production agency based in Charlotte. Before starting Content Puppy, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.

Blog by Content Puppy Productions