If laughter is the best medicine for life, could it also cure your video marketing pains?

Volkswagen put this theory to the test when it measured how people’s behaviors changed when offered a fun experience.

They transformed a staircase into a piano and found that the stairs, which were right next to an escalator, were used 66% more times than normal as people opted to play a tune on their way up the steps.

Your company may not have the budget to create a live experience like this, but you can create a fun and engaging experience for your audience through video marketing and brand storytelling.

Fun (and funny) video ads get people to engage

Some of the best video ads debut during the Super Bowl. Even people who don’t watch the game actively seek these commercials.

Case in point: Amazon’s ad for Alexa. Anyone who knows about Alexa’s many glitches can’t help but laugh at this video, which uses humor to connect with its audience while poking fun at the company’s own mistakes.

Nearly 40 million people searched for this ad and watched it on YouTube. Everyone was talking about it because they enjoyed it! This kind of viral campaign is marketing gold.

Fun brand messages get people to like your brand

Entertaining video ads grab attention. That’s a win for gaining brand awareness, but humor goes further than that.

This study found that the use of humor increases message comprehension, creates positive feelings towards the brand and increases product purchase intent.

This is great news for companies that sell products that excite people, but what if you market a product that’s not as exciting?

An interesting study by researchers in Ohio State University found that humorous ads also work better for anti-smoking videos. Specifically, they found that YouTube anti-smoking videos had more views and higher viewer ratings than more serious ones, for example.

The researchers explain that in this case, humor reduces the negative reaction that some people (in this case smokers) might have from watching this kind of video by de-emphasizing the negative judgment about the behavior.

So, what makes a video ad fun?

Fun and funny are vague concepts that are hard to define. What captures one person’s attention, makes them laugh, and brings about positive feelings can fall completely flat with someone else.

Understanding your customers, their demographics, and their pain points is critical if you are to connect with them. Use that knowledge to inform your video creative strategy.

American culture, for example, stresses individualism, whereas Korean culture emphasizes collectivism.

Groupon’s 2018 ad featuring comedian Tiffany Haddish resonated with a lot of people in the US, amassing 25.5 million views.

Because the content focused on her experience as an individual, Groupon’s target audience, which is predominately women, loved it. Would it have gone down equally well in Korea? Probably not.

The common thread across all cultures is that nearly everyone seeks out content that makes them laugh.

One eMarketer report showed that Chinese audiences preferred watching humorous videos more than any other type of content. Another study from Brazil found that there’s also no difference between males and females in their preference towards humorous influencer content, everyone loves it.

Use humor at the right moments

When and how you incorporate humor into your video creative strategy is equally as important as the content itself. As consumers move through your sales funnel, you should expose them to different content and different levels of humor.

Researchers have identified when and to what degree you should use humor in your video marketing to generate the best results. If the purpose of your ad is to trigger a purchase from consumers who already know your brand, go full out with the entertainment value.

Funny video ads also work well when the goal is to increase awareness for a new product or brand launch. If consumers are unfamiliar with a brand, however, humor can distract them, leading to missed marketing messages and wasted ad dollars.

When you’re planning your video creatives, there’s another important factor to note: tie entertainment and humor to the brand for it to yield all of the positive benefits. That means the brand or product should appear first or in tandem with the humor, so your message is still positively associated with your brand.

Marketers, humor is the medicine that will make your customers feel good about your brand

  • Capture attention and engage viewers with funny video ads.
  • Tailor humor to your audience demographic.
  • Use funny videos throughout the sales cycle.
  • Make sure humor doesn’t overpower your brand message.
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