Adverts – let’s face it – they can get tiresome. Nowadays it’s tempting to skip past them, whether it be on the TV or on YouTube.
One study found that 86 per cent of viewers watching timeshifted shows fast-forward the ads, but that TV remains the most memorable form of advertising.
However, occasionally there are adverts that you won’t skip. Adverts that you actually actively look forward to seeing over and over again.
Effective advertising is about attracting, holding, and focusing attention, and humour can be a great way to do this.
After all, humour connects us all and what better way is there to improve your mood than by having a good old fashioned giggle?
It seems that in the UK comedy is close to our hearts, to put this in context, British comedy ‘Only Fools and Horses’ tops the most popular all-time TV shows in the UK according to YouGov and is closely followed by ‘Fawlty Towers’ at no. 4 and ‘Mr Bean’ at no.9.
You may be familiar with the saying, ‘laughter is the best medicine’, and some scientific studies back that theory up, too.
And, a 1993 Journal of Marketing study that examined multinational effects of humor on advertising, found that ‘humor is more likely to enhance recall, evaluation, and purchase intention when the humorous message coincides with ad objectives, is well-integrated with those objectives, and is viewed as appropriate for the product category. Under such circumstances, humorous advertising is more likely to secure audience attention, increase memorability, overcome sales resistance, and enhance message persuasiveness.’
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at four of the funniest adverts and what marketers can learn from them.
Dreamies – Cat Borrowers
Anyone who has a pet cat will be familiar with Dreamies, and with an estimated 10.9 million pet cats in the UK, that’s a staggering 24 per cent of the population.
The simple rustle of the packet brings our feline friends running. Perfect if you don’t own a cat, but simply need to ‘borrow’ one as shown in the advert above.
So, what can marketers take away from this humorous advert? Well, ultimately, understand your audience. Dreamies’ creative ad and relatable characters were a different kind of treat for feline fans.
If you’re a cat lover and you watch this advert you can immediately relate to it if you have ever given your cat some Dreamies.
So marketers, get to grips with your target audience, understand them and start dreaming up those relatable ads.
If you can make them laugh along the way too, then ‘purr’fect.
Cadbury’s – Eyebrow Dance
Cadbury’s iconic advert from 2009 raised a few eyebrows for the right reasons.
The advert had people across the country exercising their facial fortitude and trying to replicate the impressive muscle movement.
Let’s face it – marketers can learn a lot from this advert, namely the way in which an advert can become a cultural phenomenon when executed correctly.
Last year, ITV even caught up with the girl from the advert to see what she looked like ten years on. After all, it was one of the most memorable adverts of the noughties.
The ad is humorous and sparks people’s curiosity, after all, it can’t be that hard to move your eyebrows like that can it?
Develop a cool concept, cast the advert well, awaken the nation’s curiosities and you can get some eye-opening results.
Specsavers – Should’ve gone to Specasavers
How many times have you heard someone say, ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’?
Specsavers’ tagline has become somewhat of a sensation, whether you take the wrong turn whilst driving, or make a mistake whilst playing sport, you can often be reminded of where you ‘should’ve gone’.
This humorous advert encapsulates the whole notion of why people should get their eyes tested, particularly if you’re a vet.
So, what can we learn aside from getting our eyes tested regularly?
As marketers, we all set our sights on coming up with a saying that can become part of the cultural fabric, but it’s important to put things in perspective.
The power of a great tagline is one thing, but adverts that amplify and emphasise the core messaging take it to the next level.
Set your sights on marketing greatness.
Irn Bru – Pinkbomb
Scottish brand Irn Bru has never been shy of using humour in their adverts… just check out their YouTube channel – and don’t tell us you can’t, tell us you can (you’ll see what we mean).
The brand has become synonymous with, what some may consider, risqué adverts. However, their willingness to embrace humour and push the boundaries makes their adverts memorable and entertaining.
Described on their website as ‘an indescribable brand with a phenomenal taste’ they have a rich history of funny adverts. However, the use of humour in their adverts may not be to everyone’s taste. You can check out a brief history of some of their most controversial adverts here.
So, what can marketers learn? Well, as we’ve said already humour goes a long way. It’s great for brand awareness and can win people over. However, keep in mind that sense of humour varies dramatically from person to person.
What some find hilarious and consider a work of genius, others may find offensive. So, when it comes to using humour in adverts that could be deemed to be pushing the boundaries, keep that in mind.
Remember, there’s a lot of power to be had in the ‘did you see the [insert your business here] advert?’
Humour can be a great way to get people talking and raise awareness of your brand. But, it’s important to remember that humour is a very subjective thing, so always keep that in mind.
But, sometimes, brands that are bold and steer directly into the storm come out on top. It really is a funny business!
So, there are 4 of the funniest adverts – what do you think? What’s the funniest advert in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.