Top 10 Ways to Make Your Content Funny: #1 Exaggeration

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 Does the thought of inspiring your YouTube video communities with entertaining content make you nervous? What if your attempts at having fun simply fall flat? 

Follow these 4 tested techniques for applying exaggeration to your YouTube videos, and you will be well on your way towards engaging your audience. In fact, our study of the top viral videos demonstrated that humorous exaggeration is the number one technique used by advertisers to boost their viral video statistics.

exaggerationSo just when marketing folks are told to become publishers, we are now being told to become comedians if we want any traction from our YouTube videos.

4 Ways to Boost Viral Video Stats with Exaggeration

Exaggeration plays on many of our senses. We recognize it mentally and emotionally. Of the top viral videos we examined in this category, the most viewed YouTube videos were based on some sort of conceptual discord. In other words, we recognize something as over the top. The other YouTube videos were based on aberrant behaviors or visual anomalies as explained further.

In general, most viral videos featuring exaggeration fall under the following four categories:

  1. Exaggerated Outcomes
  2. Over-reactive Behaviors
  3. Exaggerated Qualities
  4. Understatements

Exaggeration Table

Comic Devices Used in “Over-the-Top” Humor

Exaggerated Outcomes

As a conceptual discord, we laugh when we witness over-the-top demos and storytelling. This theatrical shift from what we see as normal is often played out in the aftermath of bad dreams as well. And by adding a dramatic effect to our storylines, exaggerated dreams can also evoke our emotions like the infamous scene of Dorothy describing Oz when she awakes.

social video example

Dorothy’s Family Laughing at Oz Nightmare

Gatorade capitalized on this technique when featuring Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant in nightmares of each other that lead to ridiculous responses. (http://bit.ly/15JN3k7).

Over-reactive Behaviors

Our second technique used in exaggeration taps into our emotional response to ridiculous behaviors. In this case, we laugh at how others take such extremes to make their point. Forceful demonstrations are often loaded with intensity so that we can appreciate the peculiar nature of others.

Some of the top viral videos in our study showed scenes of extreme naiveté or protectionism where we shamefully find ourselves or close ones exhibiting these same fanatic behaviors. The laughter in this case has much to do with pointing out our own quirks as overprotective Dads, star struck admirers or wired up Type A’s.

Exaggerated Qualities

Check out some of these top viral videos that feature the visual side of exaggeration. Seeing the visual anomaly, our brains often ask: “can that really be true?” Some of the most popular comic devices used in this form of wit include the display of supernatural performances, motion distortion, exaggerated body reactions and incredible allure.

But the key to using this humor technique is making it evident that the object of exaggeration is beyond the realms of possibility. For example, Aaron Rodgers throwing an 80 yard pass would amaze us; but LeBron James making a full court buzzer beater from the top of the stands would make us laugh.

Understatement

We also laugh at the other extreme. Consider this photo warning us of wet floors. Really? This popular form of comic wit is known as an “understatement.” In the videos featured below, we can see why we laugh at a profound grasp of the obvious or feeling underwhelmed.

social video understatement

Example of Understatement (Source: kenjonbro on Flickr)

The same applies to YouTube video scenes of characters oblivious to surrounding danger. Coca Cola, for example, features a sleepwalker unshaken by jungle danger in their 2010 super bowl commercial (http://bit.ly/cB9qJ9).

What Makes Exaggeration so Popular

The use of exaggeration dates back centuries as a comic device and popular figure of speech known as hyperbole. Consistent with the theory of incongruity, it suggests laughter results from seeing things out of sorts.

Using exaggeration can be a safe choice to consider for your viral video theme for the following reasons:

  1. It rarely offends any particular audience
  2. It can be easily grasped visually, emotionally or cognitively
  3. It can be easily produced in low budget settings (e.g., check out BlendTec’s 100M+ view channel success with a purported budget < $10K (http://bit.ly/di3sUP

Study Background

A total of 3351 high performing spot TV ads (> 50K views) were examined in this ranking of top YouTube videos. These viral videos included re-casted commercials that were subsequently posted on YouTube as a social media video back channel. Statistics were then recorded on the number of likes, dislikes, comments and views, where an exploratory study was subsequently published with the Academy of Marketing Science and 2013 Cross Cultural Research Conference.

From the final list of most viewed YouTube videos, about 8% involved humorous exaggeration. This form of viral video engagement ranked number one, five and six in average views, comments as % of views, and net likes as % of views, respectively.

So what do you think? Is this an effective way to go? Have you ever resorted to using humor like this as an entertaining content marketing theme?

Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

67 thoughts on “Top 10 Ways to Make Your Content Funny: #1 Exaggeration

  1. I think that exaggeration is an effective content marketing theme. The main reason for this is the fact that it touches all of our senses. My personal favorite category of exaggeration is exaggerated qualities which Doritos does a good job of implementing.

  2. I think exaggeration is a great selling point because it helps capture the consumers attention through the use of an excessive sales pitch. The more you get to the point, the more people will be sold on the product.

  3. So what do you think? Is this an effective way to go? Have you ever resorted to using humor like this as an entertaining content marketing theme?

    I 100% feel that this is an effective way to advertise. I know the only commercials/advertisements I can recall have at least 1 of the 4 exaggeration techniques incorporated in them. Humor makes people happy! It’s going to leave a positive mark in their minds that hey that was funny, I remember laughing at that or that was so over the top it’s going to stand out in their memory recall. I have not personally had to resort to humor to create a marketing theme but have noticed many of the companies I’ve represented and worked with do so. Every time it was deemed as a huge success. Thank you for this blog post it was very educational and informative. I would love to use one of these humorous techniques in the future.

  4. I find exaggeration extremely hilarious. I am a person that tends to completely dramatize situations so I find it humorous. In my opinion, exaggeration is entertainment and that is a crucial selling point for media marketing. A commercial has to attract a person. For example, in the Geico commercials a camel is screaming “hump day.” Everyone knows that camels do not actually talk, so exaggerating this camel into something that makes him hilarious gets people hooked and familiar with the company.

  5. Exaggeration seems to be the “low hanging” fruit in that it is a safer path, less risk of offending others, easy for viewers to grasp etc. I wonder if there are any studies of the overuse of exaggeration and if people will begin to tune out if a company over-uses this approach?

  6. I have noticed exaggerated marketing as a progressive form of entertainment while selling the public a product. It is my belief that the television success of the Super Bowl helped to launch the competitive nature of creating the next exaggerated commercial. The entertainment value of the marketing helps to maintain the viewers attention getting that brand recognition.

  7. Exaggeration is probably one of the best methods that are used in marketing today. I think the best commercials that use exaggeration and over-reactive behaviors are the “Old-Spice” commercials in which the actor Terry Crews yells constantly to the viewer about how incredibly “awesome” this deodorant is and why men need it in order to be “awesome”. The commercial(s) consist of weird random explosions, unexplainable dialogue and and repetitive flexing of pectoral muscles. Yes, it is weird but it has a great function because I remember when this commercial first aired and all my friends and I were laughing about it. Ultimately the commercial served its purpose because it made people know the Old Spice brand and I even began to use Old Spice because of it.

  8. Exaggeration seems to be an extremely effective way to capture an audience’s attention and it also creates a great selling pitch for a product. It uses shock and awe to prove how amazing a product is or is an unrealistic exaggeration of the product for humor. I have never used exaggeration for a marketing theme, but have used exaggeration in telling stories or fluffing up events in a humorous way.

  9. I have never looked at how exaggeration has caught the attention of viewers. The marketing firms has taken notice which is why we now see commercials that do not necessarily have anything to do with the what the video is advertising. I have sat back before this class and wondered, “why are these commercials taking it to the extreme? why are these commercials so idiotic?” Know looking at it, marketers are giving us what we respond to the most.

    1. I find it interesting, Mykella, how our minds gravitate towards anomalies. Exaggeration is one the quickest ways to capture attention because the anomaly is so visually apparent. I think this humor resonates well with yellow products (high emotion and low involvement such as what we see in many beer commercials).

  10. I do believe that exaggeration is a good way to market products. People are more likely to pay attention to your advertisement and product if it is something outlandish that draws their attention. We live in a society where attention is only kept for short periods of time. By making people laugh or entertaining them in such a mind blowing way, it is a great way to market your product.

  11. Good day! I simply would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice info you may have right here on this post. I shall be coming back to your blog for extra soon.

  12. I enjoy exaggeration commercials and other advertisement. In fact if the commercial isn’t exaggeration, i feel its very boring and not worth watching. For example during the Superbowl one of things me and my friends get together and talk about exaggeration commercial during the Superbowl. The Snickers commercial with Betty White playing Football that was very funny. I think without the exaggeration many proplr would not take much interest in commercials.

    1. Exaggeration certainly makes it to number 1 in empirical studies; but I wouldn’t rule out other techniques, Ronnie, like making fun of others’ misfortune, poking fun of society or irony. Betty White’s depiction of a football player fits more under a “perceptual discord.” i.e., what is an eighty year old woman doing in a mud football game? But like exaggeration,it’s a form of comic wit that taps into our perception of see “something out of sorts.”

  13. I think these commercials truly appeal to the masses. Especially the ones that use humor or over the top comedy to get their advertisements across. Humor tends to be universal, and with humor you can market you product on a much larger scale. That is to say that the humor utilized is effective and doesn’t veer too much from what is actually being advertised.

  14. I feel that I almost always use exaggeration within my humor. Although the commercial may not be accurate in showing the consumer what the product actually does, humor often works more wonders than actual scientific fact.

    1. I wonder if its appeal also says something about all of laughing over our own tendency to exaggerate. My four sisters give me this look of “here it comes” as though I am notorious for embellishment. I call it spicing up a story; they call it bu—-it. But the point is, we can all get away with it. I believe that is at the heart of our laughter.

  15. I believe this is an effective method as the competition increases with each passing year. The trend appears to be the more extreme the advertisement, the more attention it draws. Humor also plays a role, however, as less people would be interested if the commercial did not make them laugh in some small way. Growing up with a father who works in the business world, I am accustomed to the use of various techniques to sell products to consumers. I have found through personal experience that exaggeration may initially startle or annoy people, but many will find themselves still thinking about the product long after the advertisement was shown to them. This demonstrates that the marketing goal was accomplished.

    1. I laughed at your analogy, Michele, because I learned to master the art of exaggeration in the corporate world. A cohort of mine admired how I could turn a cockroach into a butterfly. For example, after returning empty on a proposal for a Chinese airline program, I only saw the bright side. e.g., Didn’t I here them say “a deal is in the making?” When you think of all your laughable screws up in the business world, invariable you come up with a list of exaggerations that later haunted you. I marketing, we probably have more opportunities than any other discipline to do this. But why do we laugh? I suspect it has more to do with how many of us are guilty as well as how many of us capitalized on it.

  16. I believed that the commercials were very entertaining and had a unique way to market their company. I do believe that it was an effective way to go because it grabs a persons attention. When I was watching these videos, I would pay close attention to see what they were trying to sell. Commercials like these that have exaggeration throughout makes a person remember the brand and even the video. The other day I watched a T-mobile commercial with LeBron James and Kevin presenting the Samsung galaxy note 3 and it was hilarious. The way they tried to market the gear left an imprint in my head and I had to share that commercial with everyone I knew. Moreover, I never have resorted to using humor like this in an entertaining content marketing theme. I have always been in the medical field and even then we never had to market anything. But if I ever had to market anything, I would probably try to make it humorous as possible. When a commercial has humor, edge and some sort of exaggeration it grabs attention and this is extremely important to do, especially in the marketing world.

    1. It is amazing how easily we cross the line between realistic “astonishment” and unrealistic “exaggeration.” Exaggeration wins out on attention getting which suggests that more attention is placed on the ridiculous or pure non-sense. When LeBron was taking some full court shots, I initially marveled over his skills. When I realized the hoax, i believe my laughter resulted more from my feeling foolish for being duped. I clearly remember this inner shame; I doubt I would have recalled any sense of amazement to the degree of feeling duped.

  17. Personally, the only commercials that I remember are the ones that either make me laugh or make me cry. So I could imagine that’s true for a majority of people since those are always the commercials that people are talking about over social media. As this study shows, humor is the way to go now a days and it makes sense. People don’t want to talk to their friends about mediocre commercials that don’t bring out an emotional response.

    1. It’s interesting you say this, Candice, because I often question how we best like telling our friends what we just witnessed. With a bit of SPIN!! Otherwise, who cares. Without some exaggeration, don’t our stories risk sounding too uneventful? Even the most heart jerking moments tend to be exaggerated when retold. I am sure the laughter in more humorous situations has much to do with us relating to embellishment. I also believe we laugh at how far we take things. Many of the social videos we examined were parodies or stereotyped episodes where someone wants to accentuate something annoying or laughable in itself.

  18. I agree that exaggeration is what catches the attention of most people nowadays. It is very effective but what if you need to advertise a youtube video of a serious topic like cancer. How do you exaggerate “cancer”. I think the exaggeration method is not so much limited but it doesn’t work for everything.

    1. Consider, Jennifer, what happened with the American Family Life Assurance Corporation. They sold supplementary life insurance policies such as for cancer patients. They became a global giant overnight because of a duck screaming AFLAC! AFLAC!

  19. Outrageous and dramatic humor is definitely a way to get peoples attention. I believe that if you can make someone laugh you have their attention. So by using outrageous humor the product or company that the commercial is for has become more effective than the competition. People enjoy it more.

    1. The challenge I see, Samon, is turning the attention into message engagement and brand recall. I often asked people to recall their funniest commercial only to hear “You know…that one where the guy…” No, I don’t know that one. i.e., the message gets lost in the humor. On the other hand, I believe Geico did a great job in their humor by drawing our attention to a geycko, caveman, famous actor or a pig. Each one these became cultural icons that told the brand story: The geycko’s 15 minutes will save you 15% or more; the caveman’s so easy a caveman can do it; or the pig’s conveniently downloaded Geoci app.

  20. In the marketing arena there is an abundance of competition that takes place among numerous companies selling and advertising their products and services in order to grasp consumer’s attention. Due to the increase of products and services now being offered around the world there has been a need for a change in advertisement which has lead towards different techniques, such as humor, in order for a company to market their products effectively. Therefore, I do agree that utilizing humor to advertise a company’s products/services is essential in our era. However, I do agree with Dana in regards to a drift from humor to educated content being utilized in the future. More over, I myself have resorted to humor as an entertaining marketing theme because it does allow for others to feel comfortable around you instead of having the usual ambiance of tension, stress, or seriousness.

    1. This is a continuing debate in a lot of circles, Dilayda. The argument for education seems to be converging with entertainment. We now have edutainment. Consider this argument: it took several years for Allstate, Statefarm, Nationwide, Travelers, Progressive. etc. to follow the AFLAC and GEICO lead on humor. Sure, a serious insurance educator wouldn’t take this route! Then they rolled out Mayhem. Just like the other rolled out humorous commercials. Even B2B CEOs are worn out from way too much “how to” and other educational content. With content marketing taking hold, expect business leaders to go an AD overload. There is always a way to entertain while your educating. I believe we just have to take care with potential offensive or callous humor.

  21. MKT 3050 Class Response Bonus
    -So what do you think? Is this an effective way to go? Have you ever resorted to using humor like this as an entertaining content marketing theme?

    Answer: Personally I find myself seldom watching commercials, if the television show I am watching cuts to commercial, I either change the channel, or I go and do something else until the show comes back on. The only time I do watch a commercial is if it is extremely eye catching. I do believe exaggeration is an effective way for companies to get viewers attention. I believe the major part of exaggeration is ‘selling the dream’. Carl’s junior commercials are famous for the concept of selling the dream. There advertisements feature beautiful women washing cars in bikinis and eating huge hamburgers. Basically trying to get the male viewership attention. As well as making them think if they go eat at Carl’s Junior they will find a woman like this at one of their restaurant locations. I believe that humor and exaggeration are two techniques that really grab viewers attention and engage them. Thus allowing them to remember the commercial and possibly and hopefully buy the product. I have only resorted to using humor purposefully to sell myself once. I had to give a speech at a very boring work conference one time. It was the middle of the day, that consisted of eight hours of seminars. I knew I had to make a splash, not only to impress my bosses and the “higher ups” but so that no one would fall asleep, and I could make myself memorable. I started my speech with a highly inappropriate joke. That not only woke everyone up, but allowed people to stay engaged through out my whole speech. Even if I did not say anything else during the speech that was interesting, my audience was waiting for me to say something outlandish for the remaining period of time.
    It was a powerful tactic, and one I definitely think advertisers take advantage of.

    1. I noticed something, Juliet, when I told stories to my 2 yr old daughter at the time. When I exaggerated the descriptions of creatures we would call from other planets, she would laugh hysterically when I mentioned “Agnes had an unusually large foot.” I mean laughing incessantly. Even though I felt I painted a more creative persona for the other creaturs, an extra large foot is what stuck in her mind and made her laugh.

      Dale Carnegie, in his memory techniques, suggests we use rhymes (one run, two zoo, three tree, etc.) to marry with grossly exaggerated symbols when trying to recall a list of things (e.g., a list of groceries). One run (rhymes)…I think of a large work horse surrounded by ponies (exaggerated comparison)…On the saddle is my object to remember… Ah Hah. On the saddle is the expense report I need to complete this week. Two zoo (rhyme)…I see wild monkeys throwing something to remember…it’s my MetroPCS payment…I remembered that as well. Three tree…A giant tree tipping over the object to remember…it’s a letter from my Dad to give to my daughter…

      This stuff really works! My wife would tell you that I cannot remember a thing on a grocery list. But I do remember the exaggerated horse, monkeys and tree. It is amazing what exaggerated does – albeit subliminally – to enhance our recall. Now just take this to brand recall. i.e., Exaggerate a storyline, and people will likely remember.

  22. I would definitely agree that exaggeration is one of the top video themes on YouTube as well as what I often watch. With humor taking up 75% of viral content it’s obvious that it’s a great route to go when creating video. The hard part is getting those juices flowing! The great thing about humor is that it connects with all people. Everyone loves to laugh. The funnier and the more “out there” you are the more successful you will be (in my opinion).

    1. Exaggeration is arguably the easiest of comic devices to apply as well. We could stretch our imaginations, blow up some stories and overreact in some many ways. I like you point, Kimberly about keeping the juices flowing. That is the Achilles Heal of hyperbole. The moment of exaggeration is usually short lived and highlighted at the onset of a social video or commercial. Humor based on social order deviancy, on the other hand, is usually embedded throughout the storyline.

    1. Alex, I think the arrival of Blendtec’s “Will It Blend” videos made us believe that exaggerated outcomes show promise in building viral videos. As you recall from his show, Tom Dickson, the Blendtec founder, attempts to blend various unusual items in order to show off the power of his blender. In the process, many of us probably wonder if the blended iPads, etc. are real. Then we recognize that it’s “over the top.” This simple technique garnered his channel an estimated 200 million hits. I believe the effect combines both exaggeration and the element of surprise as we watch the items blend.

    1. Alex, an interesting fact to note is that nearly two-thirds of viral YouTube videos make attempts at humor. As social media marketing takes off, we are finding that marketers not only have to be publishers, they have to be funny. After years of humor abstinence, Allstate, Statefarm and Travelers all got onboard with the AFLAC and GEICO ways of entertaining us.

  23. People enjoy laughing as it releases stress aside from other benefits so the use of humor (exaggeration) is to my perception an extremely effective way for marketing a product or service as it catches the audience attention, it also makes the commercial/advertisement a memorable experience which of course will make the product or service to be remembered as well, makes the perception of the company a more friendly and personable one and since exaggeration is very visual it can be easily understood.

    1. Great points, Ana Maria. You are right about exaggeration leading to recall. When our brains see something blown up (e.g., visually exaggerated), studies show that we tend to remember the concept longer. And, as you say, exaggeration is inherently visual and simple. Our own research found that full comedies (wit + satire + released repression) suffer from complexity. Consequently, they run the risk of falling flat on their targeted audiences. Thank you for the comment.

  24. The use of humor is a very effective way to capture the attention of the audience. Our society isn’t as strict as the other collective societies, so we only see this as a form of entertainment. The media is a very competitive field, people always want new, fresh ideas to view. These little vignettes of commercials deliver with their use of humor.

    1. Justine, this particular form of humor (exaggeration) seems to be universal in appeal. The collective societies have more of a problem with putdowns, malicious joy and taboos. Thank you for the comment.

  25. One decision our society is constantly making is what we allow ourselves to see. If a viewer isn’t pulled in by a commercial within the very first few seconds then he/she has the option to change the channel. I believe this is why many business are beginning to use exaggeration as a means to catch the viewer’s attention. If we see something very unusual, funny, or intriguing, then we are more likely to stay interested in a commercial. I believe the humor route could get complicated at times because everyone has a different sense of humor, therefore what is funny to one person may just seem annoying to another.

    1. Kelsey, this supports the concept that humor applied at the very beginning of a commercial has far more impact in attention grabbing than that embedded throughout the commercial. It is also supports the notion that complex, full comedies (e.g., mix of satire, released repression and comic wit), often lose the audience. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Using humor in the form of exaggeration is an extremely effective way to market. Most people enjoy and respond well to humor and using exaggeration is a good way of ensuring that most people will not be offended. Since many forms of exaggeration involve very visual situations, using this type of advertising can also work well for people who speak different languages.

    As a photographer, I have not used a lot of humor in my marketing yet but it is definitely something that I am considering. My ideal client is one who loves to laugh and I am no stranger to telling jokes and acting ridiculous while shooting if it will get an authentic smile out of my clients. I think the possibility of sharing exaggerated “blooper” photos on social media could be a fun way for my clients to feel more at ease about their own upcoming photo shoot.

    1. Charisma, I think you will see how bloopers are highly effective in pointing out others’ misfortune as well as a comic device for #3: Putdowns. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Advertising has to be creative in order for consumers to grasp the idea of what the seller is trying to market. Humorous and emotional commercials seem to catch the viewers attention and that is what the promoter is trying to do. This is the only way products are going to get known and will either make it or break it. Publix for instance is a reputable brand that is known to care about their customers and what their customers need and want. If you notice their commercials always have a touching feeling to them. Whether it is a Mother’s day commercial or a holiday commercial, they will always leave you feeling emotional and feeling like this is something you relate to. This is what helps Publix stand out from the rest of the supermarkets. So do I believe using humor in commercial is effective, I would say yes in a heartbeat.

    1. Ines, it is interested to note that almost every insurance company is now taking this route: Allstate (Mayhem), Geico (geycko), Statefarm (disappearing act), AFLAC (duck), etc. Thank you for the comment.

  28. All of the commercials exemplified in this post were very effective in my view. These commercials catches attention quickly and grabs the attention of the viewer until the end. All of the commercials were a little ridiculous for the advertised product, but with the exaggeration the concept kind of flows so its not so outlandish. These product or action exaggeration makes the audience laugh. Even though some of the reactions may not happen in real life, they can associate the commercial with the product and thus make it more memorable for them. This increases the retention of the what the product is by the audience.

    1. Excellent point, Justine. There is a concept in advertising that suggests we mentally retain exaggerated images. That is why many banner ads merely feature an image covering the entire page. I suppose the same would apply to commercials. i.e., an exaggerated concept may enhance recall. Thank you for sharing this comment.

  29. I think that exaggerated engagers are a great way to advertise, because they are humorous and really grab our attention compared to traditional informative commercials or ads. Instead of just being informed we are being entertained, which tends to help us to better remember the jingle or funny episode that links us with the product or service being advertised. This can also make the company seem friendlier and more personable, in turn making the company more approachable. I have used a grabber such as those in the videos in a group speech. My group and I dressed up to the part and performed a silly dance for the class to get their attention before we discussed the material. It really helped us to get their full attention, and they really enjoyed the show we gave them, it was a win-win scenario.

    1. Maegan, I can truly relate making us feel more approachable. It is amazing how many blogs catch on when we recognize the author as having a quirky nature. It is as though we recognize this in ourselves. Thank you for the comment.

  30. I think humor is always an effective way to go with advertisement. Who doesn’t like to enjoy a funny commercial and crack a smile during their day. Humor appeals to everyone’s personality and everyone enjoys to laugh at things. It releases stress and can promote more of a positive and healthy lifestyle. One thing you have to be careful with though when using humor as an advertisement technique is that you (as the business) don’t offend any social group.

    1. Good point. Many humorous concepts risk offending others. Making fun of others’ misfortunes, for example, is frowned upon in Eastern and Latin American cultures. So are some society satires and released repression expressed in the form of sexual innuendos, extreme aggression and taboo. Though popular among younger generations and males, humor of this type is often offensive to females and conservative cultures. That is why “exaggeration” is used so often. When applied correctly, it rarely offends. Thank you for the comment.

  31. I think humorous exaggeration allows us to escape from reality. It is a highly effective form of marketing that really catches the attention of everyone because you just put it out there. It is unimaginable which can just start a spark.
    I had to present a new project to my team at work and I decided to exaggerate on some of the benefits accepting the new path we were headed. I made up some over the top, crazy benefits but it made them laugh and they actually started to brainstorm about how to make the project a success. It took the pressure off of them.

    1. Cyenne, it is interesting how “exaggeration’ really works toward attention getting. If it is considered unrealistic, we are probably letting our audience know we are lighthearted. A related concept, astonishment, could be engaging as we witness something that wows us. But it does not have the attention power if the wow factor turns out to be fictional. I guess we all enjoy a good lie. Thank you for sharing this.

  32. Speaking of breaking any language barrier, Dana, exaggeration is a great way of each other laughter without offending cultures. That cannot be said for many eastern cultures and Latin Americans that find “putdown” forms of humor offensive. Thank you for sharing.

  33. I believe that the use of humor in any context is an effective, plausible and proven way of attracting consumers attention. In the aforementioned blog and the examples shown it would seem to be a conducive indicator of that theory. I believe that a move towards edu-taining content will become more mainstream in the future, but that the information contained herein is a viable and good source of showing that humor is, in fact, one of the best and most-highly effective forms of marketing. As far as myself, sure I have used humor/entertainment as a way to direct marketing strategies. Laughter has always been a way to break ANY language barrier.

  34. Lisanyi, it is interested how our brains gravitate towards something out of sorts. This form of distraction from what we are doing is also what makes us laugh. On 595, we all see the sign that says “your wife is hot.” It not only catches our attention from the sea of other billboards, it makes us laugh that we grasped the incongruity. I think a challenge many of us have is convincing our bosses to loosen up and take these chances in our content marketing. Many of us want to play it safe (i.e., go the serious professional route).

  35. I would have to say that yes it would be an effective way especially if you want to attack a younger crown. I think humor is a good way to catch peoples attention to the product that is at hand. The 4 audience attention concepts gives an idea of how company do it. using humor attracts people believe it or not, for example once I needed to present a project done by me to the class about a very boring book. the class was already bored and it was the first 1 hour out of 2 that we needed to be there. once I went up I started my presentation with a joke about the book. Right away there was a reaction from the whole class. I had caught there attention, and that’s the same way commercials do it.

  36. After reading this Blog, it seems humor has a big effect in today’s online media, if used as an innocent fun instrument to gain attention or just show plain humor.

    1. Julie, of the 3300+ videos we analyzed, humor represented more than two-thirds of them. I think it further supports the notion that readers of our social content have to be either inspired or entertained. Surprisingly, less than 10% of the videos (> 50K views) involved education. Thanks for sharing.

      1. The only way to stand out theses days with commercials is you need to be more outrageous and dramatic. One of the best ways it seems like comedy relief is the best way to connect to your audiences so they remember what your product is.

        1. Alex, many would agree with your assessment. A third theory of humor is known as the Relief Theory. It proposes that we laugh after releasing repressed emotions. This physiological experience, known as Gelotology, can significantly reduce our stress levels. That is likely why wildly outrageous scenes of aggression, sexual allure and society taboos have become so popular. Moreover, if constructed properly, the comic device could leave a positive association with your brand. Thank you for your input.

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