The challenges that people have been facing in recent years have had serious consequences. According to the latest research, 45% of people have not felt happy for over two years. So, they look for new ways to experience positive emotions. This is also reflected in their choice of brands: 91% of respondents prefer companies that are not afraid to be fun. However, the majority of brands (95%) avoid using humor in their interactions with their audience.

Humor is a rather delicate strategy that requires a very careful and thoughtful approach. But by giving an audience their desired emotions, you can give your business a powerful boost. Interested? Then keep reading to find out why you should integrate humor into your communication and what opportunities it offers.

The key thing about humor and its impact on our psycho-emotional state

Humor is one of the fundamental qualities shared by people all over the world. Back in the 4th century B.C., Aristotle noted the unique ability of humans to laugh, and how it distinguished them from other living beings. Later, Sigmund Freud suggested a theory that humor is excess energy designated for emotions. Of course, this is just one of the many approaches to the psychology of laughter, but you cannot deny that laughter accompanies us throughout our lives.

Children start laughing as early as 3-4 months old, long before they speak their first words. This makes laughter a powerful communication tool that can directly transmit emotions. The importance of laughter is so huge, that there is even a special science called gelotology; it studies laughter and its impact on humans. According to this doctrine, a sense of humor is an integral part of mental health and helps us in various life situations.

Сила гумору в маркетингу: як жартувати з користю для бізнесу

Humor can help you:

  • overcome the effects of stress. In the modern world, people often live in a state of constant stress, anxiety, and emotional exhaustion. Of course, humor will not help you cope with the stress caused by some serious commotion like war or the loss of a loved one. However, you can minimize the negative impact of everyday troubles by looking at them with humor.
  • feel a sense of belonging to a certain community. Humor is a kind of “social glue” that brings people together. The same joke may seem very clever to some people, and absolutely stupid to others. So, if you know people who are amused by the same things you are, you’ve probably met like-minded people.
  • feel happier. Laughter actively releases “happiness hormones” such as endorphins and serotonin. They give us a sense of satisfaction, make us more cheerful, and help us stay emotionally stable. When a person has a sufficient level of endorphins, they are active and full of energy and optimism.

Сила гумору в маркетингу: як жартувати з користю для бізнесу

What are the benefits of humor in marketing?

Considering the many advantages of humor, it is not surprising that brands often turn to it to give their audience positive emotions and build stronger, more trusting relationships. But these are far from all the possibilities that humor in marketing can open up for businesses. So, what other benefits can you count on with this approach?

1. Increasing organic reach.

People love humor because no one minds getting a dose of endorphins. It’s logical enough that an audience responds more actively to campaigns that make them laugh. Moreover, people like to be witty, so if your ad or commercial is really funny, you can expect customers to share it and create a viral effect. This will increase your organic reach for free.

2. Brand personalization.

Humor allows you to show the human side to your business, all while strengthening the bond you’ve built with your audience. A brand that makes humor an integral part of its communication style will definitely stand out from their competition. By choosing a humorous and playful tone in your communication with your followers, you can not only effectively engage them but also build a unique brand image.

3. Attracting potential customers.

If a user sees and likes a funny message, they will likely want to get to know the brand and subscribe to its updates. This creates a favorable environment for establishing high-potential connections. Interested and actively engaged users are much easier to convert into customers.

4. Getting to know your audience better.

Using humor in brand communication allows you to study your audience better, as well as understand what they like and what they don’t. With better engagement, you’ll get more data about your subscribers’ needs and interests. You might also gain valuable insights that can later be used to tailor your marketing strategy or product in order to achieve better business results.

5. More loyal perception.

Most people don’t like advertising. They don’t like to feel targeted by brands that “hunt” for customers. So, the vast majority of ads are simply ignored. However, when a brand chooses to use humor, a different mechanism is activated; it offers the user a certain value, namely a good mood. So, it is not surprising that such ads are perceived much more loyally.

Vivid examples of using humor by brands

1. Dollar Shave Club — Our Blades Are F***ing Great

Dollar Shave Club is an American brand that delivers razors by mail. Their communication is a great example of how you can place a bet on humor and win. Founded in 2011, the startup presented itself in a funny campaign with an eloquent title “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”. In the video, we see the brand founder talking about the benefits of his product, but the presentation is so funny that it’s hard to hold back a smile. The video, which was shot in one day at the company’s warehouse for $4500, has gathered 28 million views on YouTube. And even 11 years later, it looks just as funny and cool, because quality humor is timeless.

2. IKEA — Let’s Relax

This campaign is a good example of combining irony and an important social message. The company kindly makes fun of people’s obsession with constantly recording their lives for social media and waiting for other users’ approval. The brand imagined what this habit would have looked like a few centuries ago if people had to turn to an artist to show everyone their gourmet dinner. It’s a great opportunity to laugh at yourself and remember that sometimes, you just have to relax and enjoy the moment.

3. Lay’s — Stay Golden

Who can forget campaigns for the Super Bowl, which has long since gained the status of one of the most prestigious platforms for brands? They showcase the best videos shown during the final game, spending incredible budgets and engaging the most popular celebrities. In 2022, Lay’s “Stay Golden” campaign featured two famous actors at once, Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen. They play best friends who recall the most memorable moments they had together, which were quite unconventional: kidnapping, a fight with a street gang, and buying a haunted house. And of course, the brand’s chips were an indispensable attribute of all these exciting adventures.

4. Amazon Alexa — Mind Reader

If you’ve ever dreamed of an assistant that could read your mind and fulfill your wishes, watch this video first. In it, Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost get to experience this with Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa, which creates many awkward and funny situations. Just look at how AI can ruin your life and see that it’s better to keep some thoughts to yourself.

Some ways to integrate humor into communication

Using humor in marketing is a real art that requires a good knowledge of your audience. And we are not talking about the usual demographic indicators, but about psychology. By understanding the lifestyles and values of your customers, you can tailor your jokes to hit the mark and evoke an anticipated response. It is equally important to follow industry trends and be aware of what is happening in the world, as life itself often gives us a lot of causes for humor.

The most common ways to use humor in communication include:

1. Jokes.

You don’t have to create a large-scale campaign and devise a scenario. Sometimes, a witty joke or comment on social media about current events or a pop culture phenomenon is enough to grab an audience’s attention and make them laugh. Try to not miss occasions that might interest your followers. Find inspiration in relaxed and funny communication campaigns by Skittles and Oreo.

2. Memes.

These are not just funny pictures, but also units of cultural information. Memes are an integral part of online communication; users love them and respond to them, so brands actively explore this territory (see how Netflix or Tinder do it).

Сила гумору в маркетингу: як жартувати з користю для бізнесу

3. Tone of voice.

This is the highest level of humor integration; it implies a comprehensive approach and a well-thought-through communication style. In this case, a humorous, playful tone becomes part of a brand’s calling card and image, just like the above-mentioned Dollar Shave Club or Old Spice.

4. Marketing campaigns.

Maybe a humorous tone of voice is not an option for your brand. No matter how serious it is, you can always find an appropriate occasion or idea to add a little humor (check out the BMW electric car commercial with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek, or the Squarespace website builder campaign featuring John Malkovich).

At the same time, when using humor, it is crucial to not overdo it or offend anyone. Otherwise, you might end up losing your reputation and clients. To avoid this, be sure to follow these rules:

  • Do not make fun of people based on any of their characteristics, nationality, culture, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, appearance, etc.;
  • Avoid sensitive topics such as politics or disease;
    Don’t forget about appropriateness. In other words, refrain from humor during disasters and tragic events;
  • Try to make jokes in a kind, friendly way so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings.


We know that people nowadays crave positive emotions. They end up looking for them everywhere, especially in their communication with brands. You have a pretty easy way to make your audience happier using humor. And this, in turn, will allow you to gain greater loyalty and even increase sales in the long run. Get inspired by examples of other brands, think through your approach, and use our tips to implement a successful, yet humorous strategy!

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