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Make It Funny—Make It Stick

Is your marketing funny? Maybe it should be. (At least sometimes.) Humor is a great way to differentiate your product or service, making your message memorable and increasing your visibility. At the same time, you must balance humor with marketing information. Otherwise your prospects will remember the gag and forget the product.
Here are some tips for giving your business-as-usual communications the power of funny.
Keep humor in its place. Make your product or service front and center. Use humor to get the customer to stick around long enough to hear your message, but the laughter should enhance your marketing goals, not overwhelm them.
Funny is subjective. Different demographics find humor in different things, so know your audience’s funny bone. Should it be slapstick or sophisticated? Laugh-out-loud or subtly clever?
Print can be funny, too. In print, humor can be visual, so the biggest laughs might come from how punctuation paces a sentence or how a graphic makes the reader do a double take.
Don’t take aim at your target customers. The joke is always funnier if it is on someone else. Humor should never come at the expense of the person holding the piece.
Remove the color. Keep the color in your fonts and graphics. In your marketing, stay away from off-color jokes and innuendo. Keep it clean.
Follow cross-cultural rules, even at home. We live in a multi-cultural world, and cultural gaps can exist anywhere there is diversity. Be wary of colloquialisms and variations in the meaning of words, even in different geographic areas of your own country.
Funny marketing attracts customers by creating a positive association with your brand. When used correctly, humor is an important tool for getting your message heard. Don’t knock-knock it until you’ve tried it.