I grew up loving to laugh; I had two joke books that I’d carry around and read to anyone who would listen. Sometimes they’d laugh and other times not so much, but regardless, humor was and is a very important element in my life. I remember my favorite jokes were the “knock knock” ones, and the jokes that involved Paddy Irishman, Paddy Scottishman and Paddy Englishman, which are a little like blonde jokes because Paddy Irishman is always the brunt of the joke.
One of my dad’s favorite jokes is:
“Have you ever wondered how to keep an idiot in suspense?…”
I would answer, “Yes!”
He’d pause briefly and then say,
“You have?! Great, well, I’ll tell you later then.”
You may not find this as funny as I did but it always cracked me up!
Since humor is often cultural, not everyone laughs at the same jokes. I’ve especially found that humor is different in the UK than it is in America, but all in all, people enjoying laughter is a global phenomenon.
One of the best ways to captivate Millennials’ attention is through the ability to make them laugh. Humor engages and holds their attention, which is often difficult to secure in this quick-paced society. Laughter connects Millennials to brands and keeps products floating in their minds. For example during the 2014 Super Bowl, Budweiser stole my heart with their “Puppy Love” ad. It involves the sweetest little lab puppy that falls in love with a massive Clydesdale, which is kind of silly but super cute. The ad made me chuckle when the Clydesdale comes back to rescue the puppy. This was not only a creative way to capture the attention of Super Bowl viewers but it was effective! They connected with me through a bizarre Puppy/Clydesdale connection and now every time I hear Passenger “Let her Go”whether I’m at the gym listening to Pandora or in the car listening to the radio, all I can do is laugh as I think of the cute little puppy and massive Clydesdale. Over a year later I still have their brand floating around in my head.
Recently, AdWeek mentioned a study that further analyzed Millennials’ relationships with brands. This study uncovered that the most memorable ads among Millennials were the funny ads. Specifically, “80% [of Millennials] recall ads that made them laugh.” AdWeek also noted that it’s essential to understand Millennials’ sense of humor because they are “especially harsh in judging brands whose attempts at humor come off as disingenuous.” If there is a lack of genuinity or use of the wrong style of humor for an audience, attempts to be funny could do more damage than good.
In another survey, this time looking at the gender gap with Millennials, Nielsen Entertainment Television uncovered insights about the differences between male and female Millennials’ preferred styles of humor. They found that “slapstick, edgy and sarcastic humor in advertising” resonates best with male Millennials while “silly, offbeat humor that’s not mean-spirited” communicates best with female Millennials. Nielsen also uncovered that “eighty-eight percent of respondents said their sense of humor is crucial to their self-definition” – this ties back to last week’s blog regarding the insight that Millennials are looking for brands that fit their personality and share similar interests.
So if Millennials find something of yours to be funny, then not only are you tickling their funny bones in the right places, but you are piquing their interest and connecting with their personality. Millennials like to be identified with brands that boost their self image and their social perception in their network: with humor playing such a large role in self-definition, an ad that resonates with a Millennial can definitely make an impact on how they feel viewed and judged by their peers. Even if you’re only able to connect with one Millennial, that connection with humor is so powerful that it is likely to get them sharing “the joke” with the rest of their social network. In the end, the more people you can connect with on a humorous note, the more successful your product or brand will be.
Post by Camilla