Monday, March 29, 2010

Humour Marketing

Humour marketing is one of the tools of marketing, through which brands are marketing their products and services with the ting of humour in it. This is different from traditional marketing, where the main aim was just to inform people about their products and services. Persuasive nature of humour has forced brand to think beyond advertising. Studies have shown that 94% of marketing practitioners see humour as an effecting way to gain attention. Humour marketing helps in arousing curiosity thereby enhances liking. ‘Humour marketing’ is just like a ‘viral marketing’; it automatically gets its own life and starts spreading like a virus. Everybody wants to see it, and when they do, they all want to share it.
The success of humour marketing lies, when marketers infuse emotion in advertisement, be the unexpected, offer more than product and have some sequel and connect with comment. I remember Sony made Bravia TV ‘bouncy ball’ ad, product was not seen but has a strong recognition. Studies show that many of the most memorable ad campaigns around tend to be funny. Audiences like to be entertained, but not pitched. Just take the example of ‘crazy frog’, it started off as a ring tone of a humorous ad campaign and has become biggest selling ring tone in the world. Traditional marketing strategy is more of ‘target marketing’ but as we delve into the core of ‘humour marketing’, it is beyond ‘target marketing’. Examples of double mint chew gum and Max New York life insurance has great sense of humour in it. Humour is the blood of media, whether its on-line media or off-line media. This supplements the very nature of marketing and gives them an innovative angle to package the product. There is a thin line between funny and obnoxious, so marketers have to be cautious enough to include humour in marketing communication. Benefits of humour marketing:

Humour helps increase brand reach- Humour marketing is one of the fastest ways to increase brand recall by boosting mind share. Here marketers don’t have to push the brand again. Brands embraced with social media are the perfect example of it. Any content with humour reaches to million in a fraction of second. If a brand makes users laugh then this relationship will help the brand to reach more and more just like viral marketing. Whenever anybody utter ‘Amul’, only two words come in mind and that is ‘utterly, butterly’ and ‘The taste of India’. It has started 40 years ago in 1967 and still fresh in the mind of people.
Humour gives new dimension to brand- Humour marketing is more than reaching one users to another easily and quickly. This helps in product extension and an effective tool to inter into social media like facebook, twitter etc. Humour also adds a visual dimension to a marketing strategy and differentiates the brand from competitors. ‘Raj ma’ ad of kurkure is more than an ad. Radio channels are airing the contest related to the ad. If we talk about ZooZoo, there are toys and merchandises have available in the market.
Humour increase brand engagement- Humour marketing not only help in brand building but also build relationship with consumers by engaging them in various product offering like games, merchandise etc. Users feel the brand association and spread the positive word of mouth. Ultimately the close-up ad ‘kya ap close-up karte ho’ has an amazing sense of humour. Even people started singing in the same tone. There are ample of examples that have changed the face of brands with humour marketing.

I think we would all agree that ‘HUMOUR’ sells, just think about one television commercial as an example. The one we all remember and don’t mind seeing again and again is our add sensation ‘ZooZoo’. I still remember when this ‘ZooZoo’ commercial came and this became the buzz word in on-line media as well as off-line media. This commercial was created to promote the value added services (VAS) of Vodaphone during IPL 2. As ‘VAS’ is the cash cow for cellular industries so, Hutch turned Vodaphone came with a new concept. This ‘ZooZoo’ commercial was a melange of creativity as well as humour. Everybody was pondering about their birth; it was neither an alien nor a puppet. It was a semi alien semi-human character living in an earth like place.
Success of ‘ZooZoo’ was more than the humour content; way of storytelling was an amazing concept. Vodaphone has decided to air 25 distinct commercial in this campaign, each laden with different story. I still remember I used to copy ZooZoo’walk. These presentations have taken the advertising to the next level and it’s beyond marketing. The engagement of ‘ZooZoo’ in social media is an avid example like Facebook, twitter and You tube. Now the brand association of ZooZoo has reached the zenith. People have started buying its merchandise like toys, t-shirt etc.

Take away: Every success has the risk quotient, and those who dare reach the zenith. Humour helps both in retention and attention. It operates on an emotion level thereby has a sense of brand association. Humour sells, so it doesn’t mean that every ad will have humour in it. It’s very important to decide whether or not to use humour. Type of product has a great implication on marketing communication. With the advent of digital media and new communication technologies has ushered in a fresh wave of humour marketing.

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