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 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