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How to use Humour in Marketing Effectively

4 min read

Back to Blog

4 min read

How to use Humour in Marketing Effectively

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Posted in Marketing on 5th April 2017 8:30 am

Introducing Giraffe Beer! Get it down your neck!

Humour in Marketing
Whilst we’d love for Giraffe Beer to be real, sadly it is not, this was our April fools prank for 2017, and one which we seriously enjoyed.

Giraffe Beer gave us an opportunity to be playful, creative and unrestrained with creating a new brand, and we’re pretty pleased with the results!

We also wanted to do something that would bring a smile to people’s faces, and demonstrate how a simple idea can become a great little April fools prank.

So we thought, what could be better than creating our own brand of beer to go with our agency?

Why does humour in marketing work?

Using humour in marketing is nothing new.

Businesses have used funny content and witty marketing campaigns for years as it often bridges the gap between the ‘distant company’ and the customer.

Humour can make the company seem more approachable and trustworthy in the eyes of the customer, and encourages a more open relationship.

There are some cases, such as law firms, healthcare and funeral directors where marketing through humour may not be effective, and may even be detrimental to your brand reputation. Essentially, anywhere that it could be seen as insensitive or offensive. Similarly, jokes made in bad taste can obviously backfire drastically.

For example, American pizza brand DiGiornio tweeted with the hashtag #WhyIStayed followed with ‘You had pizza’.

The company claimed they were unaware that the hashtag was being used as a means to fight the victim-blaming attitude of domestic abuse sufferers that stay in abusive relationships.

Following the backlash they received online, DiGiorno quickly deleted the tweet and issued an apology. They also continued to respond to customer’s tweets for a period after hoping to repair the damaged to their reputation.

Whilst this is an example of where humour in marketing backfired, it does not mean that is should be avoided.  On the contrary, there are many examples of companies using humour with great success!

Successful campaigns using humour

Here are some examples we love of companies using humour in their marketing campaigns –

Google’s Parachute Delivery



This was Google’s April Fools joke in 2016.

They created a promotional video to support the launch of their new business venture ‘Parachutes’ by Google Express.

The video was professionally created and looked credible to us ‘experts’, which only added to ensuing humour as the joke was revealed to the world shortly after.

The video ends with a final quip –  

‘How do we get parachutes in the air? We use drones’

A final dig to the world’s new obsession with drones and particularly, the Amazon drone delivery system.

HubSpot’s New #PETPrograme



My personal favourite.

Who doesn’t like a video with animals in?

HupSpot released this video as their April Fools joke last year (2016) and it proved to be a fantastic success.

This video plays upon the funny side of HubSpot’s personality, and in turn made the company look appealing and approachable to people looking for a career in the sector.

The closing call to action of the video encouraged people to apply for a new job in the business. Despite it being a ‘fake’ video, we’re sure that this would have encouraged people to apply for a role in such a fun and approachable business!

Dollar Shave Club



The brilliant difference with this example is that this wasn’t an April Fool’s campaign. This was a genuine campaign for a business looking to make an impact in an already crowded marketplace.

Dollar Shave Club used this video to promote their business in a fun and clever way, and this bravery has certainly worked in their favour!

With over 24 million views so far, Dollar Shave Club have shown that even with meagre budget compared to the big players, using humour is a cost-effective way to stand out from the crowd and make an impact with your customers.

The take-away

If used appropriately, humour can be a powerful tool for companies who are brave enough to give it a try.

Understand your customer, avoid controversial topics and be ready to poke fun at yourselves and you won’t go far wrong.

If you enjoyed this blog, take a look at our previous blog about our Client Services Director’s blogging journey!

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