Everyone loves to bask in the laughter after a good joke lands really well – there must be a tiny molecule somewhere in our DNA that loves to make people laugh, it’s human nature! But is injecting a sense of humour ever appropriate in our marketing?
It’s a big “YES!!” from us here at Incredible Communications! Victor Borge once said that “Laughter is the closest distance between two people.” We assume the man knows his stuff since he did earn himself the nickname ‘The Clown Prince of Denmark’. Researchers from North Carolina, USA, performed a study which showed that shared laughter was a way of communicating to others that we have similar worldviews and, as a result, our relationships strengthen.
How do we get it right?
Unfortunately, humour is very subjective. I’m sure you’ve found yourself watching reruns of comedy festivals and while the whole audience seems to be falling off their chairs, you don’t even twitch a muscle – it can be a big turn-off if you don’t find the jokes funny.
Know where to use your humour
That urge you get to giggle at a funeral? It’s not a good idea to indulge the thought. Similarly, it’s never a good idea to try to be funny when your marketing touches on serious topics. There are, however, plenty of places you can exercise those jokes you’ve been holding on to. Social media is one of those places.
Take the NSW Police Force for example; of course, the Police need to touch on some pretty serious topics on their social media but other times they can use humour to get their point across:
Know who you’re talking to
Knowing who your audience is is always important but it really comes to a head when you want to be funny. You don’t want your jokes to go over their heads because they’ll be confused by your words and they might feel alienated. You also don’t want your audience to find your jokes on the nose, because it’s unlikely they’ll come back to hear more from you. Know who your audience is so you can really make them laugh.
How do we get it wrong?
Sure, sometimes we might try to be funny and it will miss the mark – that’s not the end of the world! There are two things you should never do:
- Never respond humorously to a serious customer complaint, publicly or privately. It will not go down well and it will only hurt your business reputation
- Never laugh at a client’s expense. Aside from the fact that no one likes to be the butt of a joke, this kind of humour is not humour at all – it’s incredibly unprofessional.
Remember also that just because one business is doing it, doesn’t mean that you should to. Just because you sell clothes does not mean that you will talk to and relate to your customers in the same way that the marketing team for Chanel will talk to theirs. Know your audience and know what they’ll laugh at. If it’s done right, humour could be the thing that brings you more customers.
At Incredible Communications we don’t take ourselves too seriously so if you’re ready to start using some of your humour in your content, we can help! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0414 711 107.