If you could have a superpower to help you get better at one type of copywriting, what would it be?
Pretty sure that it would be humorous copywriting for many of us!
Humor in copywriting is like the secret ingredient in a recipe that takes a dish from good to great — the cherry on top of the cake, the extra shot of espresso in your latte, the sprinkles on your ice cream sundae.
Writing funny taglines or catchy puns might seem easy, but good humor copywriting requires creativity, detailed observations, and a good understanding of the context. You have to play with your words and strike a balance; don’t overdo your joke or it’ll miss the mark!
In short, humor makes your copy better — it engages your readers, builds an emotional connection, and effectively conveys your message.
Let’s talk about the marketing advantages of using humor in copywriting.
1. Humor helps capture attention
We encounter countless paragraphs of marketing copy throughout the day, from the text on your carton of milk at breakfast to the toothpaste you brushed your teeth with at night. Does any of their copy grab your attention?
Humor can be the secret weapon that your brand needs to capture attention in a very saturated market. When people encounter something unexpected or humorous, they are more likely to pay attention and engage with the content.
Here’s an example:
This humorous advertisement for the 2018 animated movie, The Grinch, is a showstopper (or a traffic-stopper, rather). Besides being strikingly green, the copy also playfully pokes fun at drivers stuck in traffic.
When people come across something unexpected or funny, they’re more likely to stop and pay attention. As marketers in an industry where attention is currency, we definitely should include more humor in our creative work! So next time you’re crafting a campaign, don’t forget the power of a well-timed joke or a clever visual to make your brand stand out.
2. Humor makes your content more shareable
What type of content is more likely to gain likes and shares on social media? It turns out that entertaining, emotional, or thought-provoking content takes the crown.
A humorous headline, funny pun, or well-designed visuals can draw the audience in. When people find something funny, they are more likely to be receptive to the message and share it with their friends and followers online. This can help to increase the reach of your content and drive more traffic to your profile or website.
Just like a friend who understands your wins and losses, humor copywriting in campaigns can humanize your brand and connect with your audience on a personal level. Music streaming platform Spotify is a master at this: every year, they dive deep into their more unconventional customers’ peculiar listening habits. The data is then collated as a Spotify Wrapped, and turned into hilarious billboards.
Year-end Spotify Wrapped campaigns in the past featured ads that poked fun at unnamed users for putting together playlists like “I love gingers” that include 48 Ed Sheeran songs, and calling out a user for playing Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” 42 times on Valentine’s Day.
Spotify has tapped into listeners’ data as inspiration for its advertising campaigns for years. Sounds intrusive? It probably is. But seeing how Spotify handled their consumers’ data in such a humorous way, maybe privacy intrusion is not an issue at stake?
The secret to the ongoing success of Spotify Wrapped is how it goes beyond simply giving users a summary of their top songs or artists; its humorous and fun elements are great for sharing on social media — a great way to gain free advertising when users share their content!
3. Humor helps with memory
Did you know that your brain requires more effort to understand a joke as opposed to retaining “normal” information and facts?
People are more inclined to pay attention to funny information. Our brains favor positive experiences as they trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin, making it easier for us to remember and associate positive events. Funny information helps your audience focus and retain your message easily.
When you recall old memories and facts, your brain is more likely to retain and store the information. As a result of the longer processing time, the information makes stronger connections in the brain – so it’s safe to say that humor copywriting delivers information that sticks!
Remember the “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign by Snickers?
Here’s a backstory on the tagline: things weren’t great for Snickers back in 2009, with sales of their candy bars plummeting. By nature, Snickers bars are impulsive buys, something that people pick up on the go when they want a snack – but how could they compete with competing products on the market?
Snickers recognized the need to establish a lasting brand image in the minds of their consumers — a Snickers bar must be the first thing that comes to mind when consumers buy a snack. This realization initiated the quest for a fresh marketing strategy for the candy.
In 2010, they launched the “You’re Not You” campaign that included online and print ads. The ads that featured hungry people failing to perform at their best are funny and relatable — it definitely played a major part in boosting the candy bar’s international reputation and sales numbers in 58 markets!
Want to add humor to your copywriting? Use these methods below:
1. Use Wordplay and Puns
This advertisement by a music streaming company creatively used the imagery of Wham!, a pop duo from the 80s.
2. Use Comparison
Get in the game — stay ahead by making fun of your competitors!
3. Use Visual Aids
Remember to wash your hands before eating!
4. Use Personification
For coffee lovers who want to enjoy a cup of coffee in the evening, McCafe’s coffee ensures a “good-night to-go” with their caffeine-free coffee!
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Humor is a powerful way to connect with your audience because it grabs their attention, builds a memorable brand image, and makes your content more shareable so that it can reach more people.
At the heart of every successful marketing strategy is authentic, engaging, and relatable copywriting that makes your ad stand out. Don’t be afraid to play with words and visuals to create an iconic marketing ad!
Want to create marketing copy that’ll put a smile on your readers’ faces? Get in touch with us today.