According to a new LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll in June, 2009, of consumers and advertisers involved in the advertising decision making process, consumers and advertisers both like ads that amuse.
- 34% of consumers and 41% of advertisers say entertaining ads are very effective
- 33% of consumers and 32% of advertisers say funny ads are very effective
I think David Ogilvy said it best.
Be well-mannered, but don’t be a clown. People don’t buy from bad-mannered salesmen, and research has shown that they don’t buy from bad-mannered advertisements. It’s easier to sell people with a friendly handshake than by hitting them over the head with a hammer. You should try to charm the consumer into buying your product. This doesn’t mean that your advertisements should be cute or comic. People don’t buy from clowns.
There’s always a danger in asking people what they think will work and this research is great example. With very few exceptions, humor doesn’t work. Study after study demonstrates that humorous ads do generate recall. However, it takes sales not recall to pay the bills. People like funny ads but at the end of the day, we all enjoy the joke but we rarely take humor seriously.
Take your customers or products seriously or risk becoming a joke. Smart sells, clowns amuse.