Done brilliantly, humour in advertising can lead to global brand awareness and huge acclaim. But if a joke fails to land, it can be disastrous. How can companies navigate the comedy challenge?
The last two years have been the most challenging of our lifetimes. And while the worst of the pandemic is hopefully over, we live in a world impacted by economic and geopolitical unrest.
Against this backdrop, it is more important than ever for advertising to bring light relief into people’s lives, an opportunity to enjoy a moment or nod at the absurdity of something in what are often very serious times.
“Comedy has an amazing ability to help us heal and bring people together through universal truths,” says Stephanie Nerlich, CEO at Havas Creative Network, North America. “We’ve got heavy events happening around us and one of those moments we can smile comes through the lens of laughing.
“Increasingly, brands are welcoming that as an opportunity. Nobody is saying that the only way for a brand to communicate is through humour, it has to be authentic to the experience the brand provides. But it definitely feels like more brands feel they have that licence to be humorous compared with the previous couple of years.”