Talked to Epica's Edi­to­rial Di­rec­tor about the prin­ci­pal role hu­mour plays in the cre­ation of ads, which has be­come so cen­tral to com­mu­ni­ca­tion that the an­nual award show in­tro­duced this year Hu­mour as part of a new cat­e­gory to the list.

ArabAd - - COVER STORY -

Arabad The most ef­fec­tive forms of ad­ver­tis­ing are of­ten based on ba­sic hu­man truths.

Does us­ing hu­mour in ad­ver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing help sell more?

As you know, a mem­o­rable ad is of­ten an ef­fec­tive one. So, if peo­ple love the punch­line of a hu­mor­ous spot and share it with their friends, this can have an im­pact on brand aware­ness, and even­tu­ally on sales. On the other hand, one joke can't build a brand. The most suc­cess­ful brands have con­sis­tent val­ues and ways of be­hav­ing. Maybe hu­mour isn’t right for your brand. It’s also im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that there are vary­ing de­grees of hu­mour, from gen­tle wit to slap­stick. As a brand, what kind of funny do you want to be? Irony of­ten works well, par­tic­u­larly in the United States. The fra­grance Old Spice was con­sid­ered a to­tally out­moded brand un­til its agency Wieden + Kennedy de­ployed irony and self-dep­re­ca­tion in its bril­liant “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” com­mer­cial from 2010. This res­ur­rected the brand.

Can you pin­point one of the ma­jor keys to a suc­cess­ful hu­mourous cam­paign?

Well, hav­ing a bril­liant copy­writer is pre­sum­ably the first step. Af­ter that, there are var­i­ous op­tions. In a re­cent ar­ti­cle on the Epica web­site I an­a­lysed var­i­ous funny cam­paigns to find out what they had in com­mon. A few of the things I found in­cluded: ev­ery­day peo­ple get­ting in­volved in im­prob­a­ble events; ir­rev­er­ent por­tray­als of im­por­tant fig­ures from his­tory or re­li­gion; a se­ri­ous be­gin­ning with a com­pletely un­ex­pected end­ing.

Gold Epica Award 2015 for St Pauli Pee­back by Publi­cis Pix­el­park in Hmour cat­e­gory

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