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  • Juan Moreno

Is your ad too funny?

Standing out to jaded consumers in an over-saturated marketplace is key for advertising and one great way of doing it is to make people laugh. Making a genuinely funny ad is great, but there can be a catch. I recently watched Zoom’s new spot, which satirised corporate “speak” by making an ad entirely composed of phrases along these lines: “Hey Greg, I just wanted to circle back from that Q3 forecast and try to land the plane from a KPI standpoint.” The whole thing had me chuckling away and it has 17 million views on You Tube, but although I’d watched it three times over, I couldn’t remember what it was advertising.

I watched it again to see if I could work that out and indeed I could see that the ad was clearly showing how Zoom Phone could work and using the brand name in all the right places, but… I was somehow too busy laughing and trying to follow the cleverness of the dialogue to even notice. And it’s not as if Zoom doesn’t care about its product and only needs to raise awareness of its brand - no, it really does need its consumers to realise this new service exists and what benefits it can bring.

I have seen the unwanted side-effects of hilarity before in other ads, which lighten the burden of your day with a guffaw or two, but which fail promote their product or somehow give out the wrong message about their product. So what’s the answer? Be funny, but not distractingly funny? I would say, no. Stay being hilarious and maybe follow up with some straight comms referencing the ad, but just telling you about the product straight. Maybe with your sense of humour you have bought some hard-earned attention time from your jaded consumer…

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