It’s 10 am (somewhere). Have you had your morning smile?

Likely it came to you via an electronic device. If it was your “type” of humour, you forwarded it to someone else—and on and on and on.

It’s never been better for business for advertising using humour. Using social media, you have an audience just waiting to hear from you. Entertaining stories, tweets and photos are shared (we hope) through blogs regardless of the advertiser. People don’t usually turn to YouTube to get product information, but they do go there to watch funny videos—and in doing so, receive the advertiser’s message.

The views add up. One of the most watched videos for viral content this year saw millions of views in less than a week. (We’re tempted to give you the link, but we’re going to make you read our blog first.)

Make me laugh and I’m likely to buy from you

Appealing to the funny bone is a great way to get attention—and that’s the point when you’re selling a product or service. Humour also gives your brand a human connection, which builds a relationship with your audience. As a result, customers are more likely to purchase from you. An early example of this kind of success was the eTrade’s talking (and puking) baby during Super Bowl XLII. The next day, eTrade registered more new accounts than it had on any other day in the company’s history.

Why humour works (and when it doesn’t)

Ever told a joke and no one even smiled? The tricky part is making sure it’s the right humour.

  • Know your audience! The target market must always be considered. Run tests or focus groups to gather feedback.
  • Avoid humour that degrades, pokes fun in a nasty way or promotes negative stereotypes.
  • Keep it clean and be sensitive. When fashion designer Kenneth Cole tried to be funny, he instead won the award for the most insensitive tweet of the year (we’re not going to pass this one on)

Accounting myths a hit for Black Tulip

Finally, don’t take yourself too seriously. Earlier this year, Black Tulip launched a marketing campaign using blogs to introduce our bookkeeping services. Our tongue-in-cheek “accounting myths” struck a chord with accountants who identified with misconceptions about what accountants do or don’t do in their daily work.

We believe one of the reasons our campaign was so successful is that neither Black Tulip nor our beloved accountants took themselves so seriously that both weren’t able to laugh at the funny aspects of our business.

So wondering about that clip we mentioned earlier? Rated as the #1 most-watched video for the viral content brand this August, it’s is a comedic take on morning people vs. those who aren’t. The clip saw 50.3 million total views and a high 7-day engagement rate of 1.6x. I watched it and smiled ever so slightly.  Others thought it was hilarious. (Maybe I just prefer larger dogs?)