Sunday, 5 October 2014

Does Humor Make Ads more Effective

Humour in Ads: The Good

Humour is a form of emotional branding which engages the viewer by sharing the customer’s outlooks and style in life. It takes a product and makes it more than just a product but symbol of modern society.

Humour in advertising is a very useful tool that helps make a brand more relatable to the customer. A lot of the time when you see a humourous ads it takes socially unacceptable situations and makes them acceptable because it is funny. Overall, there is nothing better than mocking the negativity in our lives to make it a positive.

In the above video, Graeme Newell a expert in emotional marketing explains the benefits of emotional marketing and how it helps develop a deeper connection with the consumer.

Humorously Perfect 

Old Spice, "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like"

This commercial implements humour is an effective way. The ad is directed towards women but the product is clearly for men.­ In many ways, it can be argued that products like Old Spice are typically bought by women for their male partner. Therefore, the ad takes the perspective of the women. The imagery in the ad supports this claim because the main character is a very masculine character which a woman view might imagine is from a romance novel. The ad also address the idea that even though the partner that the viewer is with is not the main character with this product you can at least smell like him.

Humor works really well in this ad because it establishes awareness of the brand and the needs of the viewer. By using humour by stating that even though your man does not look as hot as the main character he can at least smell like him.  Furthermore, the imagery shown in the ad makes no sense and this appeals to the woman demographic. At the beginning of the ad it makes perfect sense but this does not last and the main character is shown in a variety of sense, which might relate to a romance novel that a woman would read.

The main character is an unrealistic man and shown in unrealistic ways. Due to the unrealistic portrayal of the main character in the ad, the male viewer would not find the ad offensive in any way.

Humour in Ads: The Negative

Humour in ads is very subjective and can often be misinterpreted if shown in different parts of the world. In North America humourous ads such as ad dealing with mockery, parodies, ktsch, and off-the-wall or dark humour does not always translate with individuals from other cultures. For example, in Britain they have a love for ads that are ironic but images that are considered sexy by most of Europe might be offensive to a British women.

With that being said, humour does work across cultural markets but it has to be done right. The subject material needs to be universal, the references need to be understood (example, young love), the subject needs to not be offensive or taboo in any way and last of all the humour needs to visually be based of something that is not easily lost in translation.

What were They Thinking?

Opel Astra GTC “Men’s new best Friend”

This ad shows how humour can be used in an ineffective or offensive way. The ad tells the story a man and his dog. In the ad the main character wakes up to his car and spots a stain on the hood.  He then takes his dog and uses it as a cloth to wipe up the stain. At the end of the ad, you see the man driving off in his car after he throws the dog out the window.

This ad surprisingly aggressive and can be consider the promotion of animal cruelty. When the viewer first sees the ad they quickly identify with the man with the dog. Then as the man starts to use the dog as a cloth the viewer might feel uncomfortable and uneasy about the idea because they have already put their feet into the protagonist shoes. As a direct result, we immediately want to detach ourselves from the main character and the product presented in the ad. In other words, who would want to identify with a person who harms animals. This as a result, makes a negative connection towards the product in the ad.

Overall, the violence illustrated in the ad can be considered too much or even unnecessary. Furthermore, due to the ad targeting the male demographic the viewer, being a male, would not appreciate the male portrayal in the ad. Furthermore, the use of a small dog in the ad reinforces a negative image of a man who is unable to control a larger dog make him look weak and not very masculine.

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