8 Types Of Humour That Can Boost Your Marketing

Date Published:
August 10, 2022
Summer Stirling

Humour is a great way to get your audience to trust and connect with you. Moreover, a good bit of clever wit can get your content shared far and wide - for free!

Below are eight examples of humour types you can use in your advertising, and some advertisers who did the job right.

1. Puns / Wordplay

Who doesn’t love a good play on words? 

Fine, a few pun haters aside (weirdos), most people get a chuckle out of some crafty wordplay. The advertisements below are punny examples that have made it across the interwebs.

Does anyone else think of Sean Connery when they read this?

I’m sure a few parents cursed this one. But you’ve got to admit, it is clever.

2. Self-deprecating Humour

No longer just for the Brits, self-deprecating humour has flooded the internet and meme world. I blame millennials… It’s me, I’m millennials. 

This humour style might be suited more for big, everyday brands. When you know people are going to buy your product anyway, it’s a great way to appear humble and relatable. 

Volkswagen has always been keen to take themselves down a peg:

It may be slow, but it's adorable.

And let’s not forget the biggest players in self-deprecation, comedians!

It's a good thing I'm funny.

3. Ribaldry or Blue Humour

The indelicate, the indecent, the dirty. 

While risqué, advertisements with a spicy innuendo make a great shareable between both lovers and friends.

We see what you did there.

Right, duck... totally the first thing that came to mind.

4. Dark

Dark humour is certainly not for the faint of heart. However, done well, macabre wit could make you go as viral as C19. 

Will it work for you? This depends heavily on your audience, product, and copywriter's skill. This type of humour works best for jaded millennials (I speak for myself) and younger folks - those who appreciate jabbing a finger at religion, death, and cultural norms. 

Is this a warning, or a dare?

I’m not sure if this is the child’s nightmare, or the alien’s. Either way, Disneyland will brighten things up!

5. Absurd Humour

Ever see an advertisement that made you ask, “What the hell did I just see?”

Even if you didn’t understand it, I bet it gave you pause. Might even be sutured to your brainstem forever if it’s weird enough. This isn’t your “Haha, funny.” brand of humour, it’s “Haha, strange.”. But above all, it should be striking and memorable.

What are they selling me? Oh! A better way to poop, of course. (Squatty Potty)

Believe it or not, this is not an ad for nightmares. Glory Paris would like to warn us about information obesity and the need to “Muscle up your mind”. While I agree it’s important to get your information from reputable, fact-checked sources… it’s also important to sleep, Glory Paris.

6. Deadpan Humour

Dry or deadpan humour is impassive and matter-of-fact. Fans of The Office (British is better btw) will appreciate this style of advertisement.

Dollar Shave Club has some great videos that deliver the goods with as straight a face as one could muster without sedatives, check them out here.

However, as a Canadian, I'd be remiss to not inundate you with our bright yellow national treasure, the NO NAME brand.

Simply amusing.

I wonder if they do home remodelling?

7. Observational Humour

Look around, you’re a highly evolved ape flying through space on a giant rock. Life is funny, let’s laugh at it. This is observational humour. We laugh at ourselves and the silly things we do because the alternative would be… :(

Admit it, you know a Greg.

If you can get your audience to say, “Lol, it’s me!”, you’re winning at observational humour. Also, I feel slightly attacked by this one.

8. Topical Humour

Topical humour is current affairs meets comedic timing. 

Is the world on fire? Is there a celebrity feud you can take a side on? Perhaps the whole world is facing a pandemic! Turn it into content, baby.

In fact, stop licking anything outside your bedroom.

You smash that patriarchy and its "pink tax", Wendy’s.

Honestly, Wendy’s should get its own category… or categories. The Roast. The Slap-back. The-I-Double-Dare-You-To-Mess-With-Our-Social-Media-Manager! 

Which humour style could you work into your marketing campaign?

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