Insight August 9, 2016

Why Jokes Matter for Your Brand


Robin Williams once said, “Comedy is acting out optimism.”

Isn’t that true? Just the act of laughter, that feeling you get when something is really, feel-it-in-your-gut funny, is an act of pure optimism. And regardless of what your business does, isn’t that how you want to feel about it? Light, happy, and optimistic.

There’s power in laughter. It’s the reason comedians become household names. They take real, human experiences — often, even painful ones — and craft them into something both relatable and joyful. 

And that’s a key skill that marketers can’t ignore.

It’s not that every brand can, or should, be irreverent. A Mercedes is a Mercedes because it’s elegant, powerful, and sophisticated. But the people who work on the brand? They have to understand why people want an elegant car. And you can’t get a good understanding of what people want without understanding what makes them happy.

So even if your brand never cracks a single joke, humor can have a positive effect on it. Here’s how:

If you’re a business owner, look for an agency partner with a sense of humor.
It’s a great sign that they understand people, that they communicate well, and honestly, that they’ll be fun to work with.

If you’re a creative in an agency, spend some time watching the latest comedians. Go see a funny movie.
Even if you’re only working on serious brands, that kind of cultural immersion is great to keep you sharp and up-to-date on pop culture. Plus, a sense of humor is necessary when you’re dealing with criticism on work you’ve poured your heart into.

If you’re on the account staff in an agency — go see that comedy with the creatives.
Your whole job is to manage relationships. The ability to laugh with clients, co-workers, and everyone else around you is a rare and valuable skill. Use it.