Has Brand Humour Gone ‘Off the Cuff’?

July 12th, 2013

Laughter creates memories because shared experiences build trust and affection amongst people.

Think of it like this — if a consumer can identify with a funny brand message, they’re far more likely to share that experience with those who they associate their own laughter with the most — their friends and family. On top of this, these jokes live on far longer than the original campaign could ever hope to, so all of a sudden a brand has achieved vastly extended reach and memorability through humour.

A funny message has long been used as a marketing tactic and over the years there have been a vast number of laugh-out-loud campaigns. I’m sure you could name a few off the top of your head right now, but we won’t be talking here about those most deliberately executed campaigns — instead we’re looking at the rise of ‘off the cuff’ social humour; essentially unplanned, spontaneous comedic brand marketing.


Innocent, O2, Tango and Betfair

For those who didn’t hear about this one, Innocent drinks tweeted a picture of a puppy sat on the ‘No’ part of a ‘No dogs allowed’ sign.

Innocent Dog

O2 saw the tweet by Innocent and within minutes tweeted the following, in promotion of their #bemoredog campaign.

O2 #bemoredog

Innocent drinks then replied with a picture of a fox which features on its packaging, at which point Tango got in on the action sending numerous pictures of animals dressed up in dinosaur suits. Not to be beaten, Betfair then waded in, tweeting a picture of a dog dressed as a giraffe!

Betfair Giraffe

The conversation continued throughout the day, with the followers of all four brands tweeting pictures and adding to the conversation. This was particularly beneficial for O2 as many tweets carried their campaign hash tag #bemoredog, gaining them great exposure.

Now, some of you will be thinking “Isn’t this just hijack marketing?” And yes, in a way it is. But what’s unique is the way the brands reacted so quickly, jumping on the opportunity to link up with each other to carry the comedic conversation forward, which was the key to making a lasting impression with all of their consumers.

This has a lot to do with today’s brands knowing their audience and starting to have a little more fun with their social media output. As previously discussed, here at Traffic we think that swift and direct social media engagement with consumers is a necessity, and adding humour into the equation can only be a winning move. Afterall, making your audience laugh not only makes your brand more likeable, but also makes it more tangible and more human at the same time.

If you’ve seen any ‘off the cuff’ brand humour recently, please do let us know as we’d love to hear about it.

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