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HUMOUR IN MARKETING

Boost your brand message by making consumers laugh, report says

By our News Team | 2022

The Happiness Report believes that people will reward brands which embrace humour with loyalty, advocacy and repeat purchases.

People want brands to make them smile and laugh, but most business leaders fear using humour in customer interactions, according to a new research report by computer technology company Oracle and Gretchen Rubin, five-time New York Times bestselling author and podcaster.

The Happiness Report includes insights from more than 12,000 consumers and business leaders across 14 countries. It found that people are searching for new experiences to make them smile and laugh and will reward brands that embrace humour with loyalty, advocacy and repeat purchases … or walk away from those that don’t.

Humour in Marketing

Photo by Any Lane from Pexels

According to the researchers, consumers are searching for happiness in new ways and are willing to pay a premium when they get it. “It has been more than two years since many people last felt true happiness and they are searching for ways to be happy again, no matter the cost,” they explain.

The report notes that:

  • 25 percent of people don’t know, or have forgotten, what it means to feel truly happy.
  • 88 percent are looking for new experiences to make them smile and laugh. People are prioritising health (80 percent), personal connections (79 percent), and experiences (53 percent) to gain happiness.
  • More than half (53 percent) wish money could buy happiness, with 78 percent willing to pay a premium for true happiness.
  • 89 percent attempted to find happiness in online shopping during the pandemic and, while 47 percent said that receiving packages made them happy, 12 percent struggled to remember the purchases they had made online.

Therefore, the researchers believe that advertising, marketing, sales and customer service interactions need to change in order to accommodate this. But there is a significant push-back from company management, where the study found that a massive 95% of business leaders fear using humour when dealing with customers.

To illustrate the above point, The Happiness Report adds: 

  • 78 percent of people believe brands can do more to deliver happiness to their customers and 91 percent said they preferred brands to be funny; this number increased among Gen Z (94 percent) and Millennials (94 percent).
  • 90 percent are more likely to remember ads that are funny, yet business leaders said that only 20 percent of their brands’ offline ads (TV, billboards) and 18 percent of their online ads actively use humour.
  • 77 percent of people are more likely to buy from a salesperson that is funny, yet only 16 percent of business leaders said that their brands use humour to sell.
  • 75 percent of people would follow a brand if it’s funny on its social media channels, yet only 15 percent of business leaders said their brand is humorous on social.
  • 69 percent of people would open an email from a brand if the subject line were funnier, yet only 24 percent of business leaders said they actively use humour in email marketing campaigns.
  • 68 percent would prefer to engage with a chatbot/digital assistant that is funny, yet only 27 percent of business leaders said their brands actively incorporate humour into bot communications.

“For brands aiming to contribute to the happiness of their target audience, the process starts with data and knowing your customers. Only then can you bring the appropriate mix of humour, personality and brand experience that will drive loyalty and brand advocacy,” observes report co-author Rubin.

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