November 24, 2014 | By: Megan Breinig | 1 min read

What is a pirate's favorite piece of marketing content?

A webinAAAAR!

…So maybe all of us weren’t born with an aptitude for comedy. But we all know through personal experiences that humor is a great way to build lasting connections. That’s why some of the world’s largest companies are catching on and using laughter as a medium in their campaigns.

Brands like Acura, Google, Proctor & Gamble, and Old Navy are creating a digital buzz with social campaigns consisting of short, funny videos. These videos bring in millions of views and spark up some interesting conversations on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Several big name comedians have found themselves in demand and have landed positions as brand ambassadors or spokespeople for Fortune 500 businesses, nonprofits, and even the government.

Jim Gaffigan,an American stand-up comedian, actor, and author, recently secured a position as the face of the new Holiday Inn Campaign Stay Smart. Comedy icons like Jane Lynch, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Reggie Watts, and several more are also a few comedy aficionados to have landed spots in brand campaigns:

Generally, the commitment from comedians as advertising ambassadors is short lived, and their paydays can be lucrative. Becoming a brand “sellout” was a previous fear for many comedians however in recent times that is not so much the case, as brands are beginning to develop loose-fun campaigns and allow creative freedom and input in regard to ad concepts.

But funny videos are not limited to big name comedians; in fact, the famous Law & Order and Jurassic Park star Jeff Goldblum also found his humorous role as the Hefner-esque face of the new GE Link lighting solutions commercial. The Dollar Shave Club YouTube commercial is yet another great example of how humor can bring in big brand revenues.

Comedy ranks in as one of the top shared online content. But while daring humor does include some risk, brands should be careful to not push boundaries to absurd offensiveness. As we all know from the recent Digorino Tweet incident, humor may need to take the backseat to maintain sensitivity and consumer relationships.

The Takeaway

Brands want consumers to laugh with them and not at them. The funny ads are the ones that are talked about, are shared, and are successful.

How will you incorporate humor into your next advertising campaign?

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