Humour in Marketing is Risky: here are 4 Aussie attempts

Marketers, ever on the lookout for unique ways to make an impact, sometimes attempt to including humour in marketing campaigns. Sometimes it works well. Other times…not so much.

Here are four examples where marketers have tried to bring the funny – you be the judge!

Humour in marketing – don’t get burnt!

The Perth suburb of Cockburn might be pronounced ‘Coburn’, but a local aquatic centre used the way it’s spelt to create a sunscreen awareness sign that said, “It’s not called Cockburn for nothing”.

While some people were not amused, others saw it as a clever way to draw attention to an important issue.

Certainly demonstrates that your message can hit home, or not – depending on who’s listening!

Cockburn campaign

Daylight robbery

When robbers broke into Ksubi’s New York store and stole $4,000 worth of clothing, the brand used an image of their getaway with the slogan “These guys robbed us last week but they were a week early….. Run Now” to promote their upcoming sale.

Shows they have a sense of humour about the robbery. On the other hand, it could show their approach to being robbed is a bit too laid back – depending on how you look at it.

Going too far?

Brisbane brand YP Threads sent out emails to users saying it had ‘incriminating’ photos of them which they would publish unless they bought certain items.

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In the age of online hoaxes and fraud schemes, this probably wasn’t the best idea! The backlash led to the brand’s founder calling it a “bad judgement call” and apologising.

Despite all that however, it appears the campaign did lead to a small lift in sales – so it wasn’t all bad news after all.

Laughing not leaking

To create its Laugh Without Leaking campaign, the Continence Foundation joined forces with comedian Bev Killick, where Bev shares her own incontinence experience.

Their essential message was about how you can learn how to laugh without wetting yourself at the same time. Funny, or not? You decide!

Laugh without leaking

Humour is cool…and risky

Humour in marketing can be entertaining, but it can also elicit negative feelings. How well it works depends on which one outweighs the other.

Which just goes to show – know your audience well before attempting to use humour in your marketing campaigns, and always be prepared for mixed reactions!


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