Anyone that knows me – even if it’s virtually – knows I love humor. To laugh is to live. To live is to enjoy life! They go hand-in-hand in my book.
In addition to being a successful personal trait, I’ve also managed to translate humor-based marketing into professional success as well! It’s a balancing act, but when done properly, is second in effectiveness only to selling sex/sexiness! How so? Well, I’ll tell ya …
The business world is serious. Very serious. For most professionals, if you can’t succeed in the business world, the chances of succeeding in life & in your family unit is slim. Reason being, it’s hard to enjoy life when you’re constantly financially strapped. ((NOTE: Being wealthy doesn’t ensure a good life; I’m simply saying that when people reach a certain level of financial comfort that works for themselves, life is noticeably more enjoyable!))
Humor, on the other hand, is just the opposite. It’s fun, filled w/ laughter, etc. We understand it makes our personal lives better. But, when it comes to most marketers or business owners applying that logic to their professional practice, we rarely do it. Why? For me, the basic reason is risk. Humor is truly a risky business. It’s a balancing act. Try to be funny and nobody laughs … you’re alienating customers. Try to be funny but cross the line of the moral majority? Yep, you guessed it … you’re alienating customers. In a world based on seriousness, alienating customers is simply one risk most won’t take.
However … when humor-based marketing is executed properly, it’s hard to argue that there are many, if any, more effective approaches. Why? In my opinion, there are several reasons for humor’s success in the marketing world.
1) We live in a very serious world; death, despair & destruction are a part of daily life; humor is the ultimate anecdote for life’s difficulties
2) Laughing is fun; when a brand’s message is delivered properly through humor, the brand then also has the added benefit of being perceived as fun by proxy
3) Humility is an endearing trait; brands that can use levity for product/service promotion or branding are able to harness their vulnerability into a positive experience w/ their prospects and customers
I know humor doesn’t come easily to everyone. I’m fortunate – I have a good sense of humor, am very humble & understand the balance b/t when to be funny & when to be serious. I don’t always succeed on the third point – very few of us do. But don’t be afraid to give levity as try as a marketing angle for a change. Try it in stages. By doing so, you minimize risk yet start to build up a credibility in the humor department over time!