What is the funniest commercial, in your opinion? Do you like those funny commercials from 2022? Or are you an old soul that appreciates the classic funny commercials from the 90s? Whatever it is, we can all agree that a good laugh is always welcome regardless of the decade or star. But here's the more important question: do you recall the brand being advertised in those hilarious commercials? Some might say yes, and others might not remember at all. If you remember and have even bought the product because of the ad, one thing's for sure — the commercial worked. However, not all funny commercials get us to buy. Being funny is great, but it's not enough to make an ad successful. Although humor alone is enough to get sales, there's more to effective commercials than comedy. Effective funny commercials make the difference between entertaining and persuasive. The secret lies in the balance. Commercials need to strike the proportion of entertainment and clear messaging to leave a lasting impression. The Sales Gods favor only funny commercials that achieve this perfect harmony with profitability. The question is: what exactly are the keys to effective funny commercials? Discover them here!
Funniest Super Bowl
Before we delve any deeper, let's look at some beautiful examples that the lords of advertising have bestowed upon us. Undoubtedly, the Super Bowl remains the largest television platform for marketers. According to Adweek, more than 50 percent of US households watched the telecast of the Super Bowl LVI. That equates to a handsome 149.9 million people. How about the commercials, you ask? The ads reached an average viewership of 106 million and generated more than four billion impressions. In other words, land a spot in Super Bowl and expect millions in return. That is if you display practical and funny commercials. Otherwise, your store will remain dry as a barren desert. There are many hilarious commercials and silly advertisements during the Super Bowl. For instance, Steve Carell, Lil Jon and Cardi B's Pepsi commercial was pretty funny. Or, NFL's former wide receiver Isaiah Mustafa's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" ad was amusing too. All these were unique and compelling ads, but the one that stuck with me most was "Gym Attack" by Doritos.
"Gym Attack" - Doritos
Doritos proved that you don't need a ton of script and a long screen time to be funny and practical. According to Nielsen, within 30 seconds, [Doritos captured the hearts of 116 million viewers](https://www.nielsen.com/insights/2010/doritos-super-bowl-spot-was-the-most-watched-ad-of-all-time/#:~:text=3 minute read | February 2010&text=A Doritos commercial featuring two, according to The Nielsen Company.). Considering the ad only played during the fourth quarter and still ranked number one is an incredible feat.
Now, what sets this advertisement apart from other funny commercials out there?
- First, the commercial made one statement: woe to the unfortunate souls who steal Tim's Doritos. I mean, great acting and spot-on editing.
- Second, it was a 30-second hilarious masterpiece that still gets me even 12 years later. It's undoubtedly one of the best funny commercials Doritos has ever made.
- Third, they conveyed the message that Doritos are to die for. Doritos were relevant throughout the ad: the bag, the Dorito shuriken, and even the Dorito yoroi samurai armor.
With all these ingredients in the ad, I have no doubts that Doritos' sales spiked during the year and after. Look no further if you're searching for the best advertising partners to produce your following funny commercials. Wizard of Ads™ can help you make the comic and compelling ads you need to dominate your category. Are you interested? Book a call with Ryan Chute, and let’s get you hooked up. The truth is: producing anything funny is all about creating a funny statement. Roy H. Williams couldn't have explained funny statements better than in one of his Monday Morning Memos. Discover below.
A Funny Statement
Advertising is all about solving problems, do you agree?Allow me to explain. Your target audience has a problem, and your business [presumably] has a solution to solve their predicament. Advertisements serve as the bridge that lets you connect with your audience and let them know you have an answer. So, by way of mathematical transitivity, ads do solve problems. However, most entrepreneurs know that solving consumer problems requires big ideas. Why? Why do some of your ads flop? Because if ads are all you need to solve your customer's problems, then why don't all ads work? Ads need big ideas to make them fun, creative, innovative, entertaining and effective. David Ogilvy, the Father of Advertising, says:
"Big ideas come from the unconscious. This is true in art, science, and in advertising. But your unconscious has to be well informed, or your idea will be irrelevant. Stuff your conscious mind with information, then unhook your rational thought process.”
Stuffing your mind is easy— just read tons of books and watch how the Picassos of advertising do their masterpieces. But unhooking your rational thought process? That's the hard part. Roy H. Williams suggests that humor is a powerful tool to do it. Humor runs through the veins of funny commercials, and he explains mood through the concept of "funny statements."
- A statement that belongs and fits a narrative is predictable — not funny.
- A statement that doesn't belong or fit makes no sense — again, not funny.
- A statement that doesn't belong but fits — funny.
When we expose ourselves to comedic reverie, we fill our minds with puns and ideas that unlock our humorous potential. This enables us to create funny ads. Ads that don't belong but fit our market's tastes, needs, wants, and cravings. That's the trade secret to funny commercials, but being funny is not enough.
When Funny Commercials Aren’t Making You Buy
It's comical how some ads succeed in making people laugh but ultimately fail in their divine purpose. That is to make people buy — because laughter doesn't pay the bills. If funny commercials get people laughing but not buying, your advertisement fails. Funny commercials only work if they persuade couch potatoes to get off their ass and buy. Ace Metrix conducted a study to determine if humorous ads do more than make viewers laugh. Does the ad increase sales or at least spark interest in the product? After all, businesses and advertisers spend millions to land their ad campaigns in prime-time spots. We'll feature the results below:
The Key to Effective Funny Commercials
We learn a valuable lesson from Ace Metrix's study. There are two critical nuggets that advertisers and businesses alike must consider before publishing funny ads. Here are they:
Commercials were less likely to increase desire or intent to purchase than commercials that played straight.
Results showed that funny commercials are more memorable and appealing than unfunny commercials. However, those same commercials could not increase the intent to purchase or desire compared to ads that played plainly. This means that [some] funny ads are helpful for entertainment rather than persuading consumers to buy. We're not saying that all funny ads are not practical, nor are we insinuating that unfunny ads are ineffective. Just look at the most popular and effective funny ads of the century:
- "Geyser" by Huggies
- “Ultrasound” by Doritos
- “Use Condoms” by ZaZoo
- “Long Long Man” by Sakeru Gummy
- "The Showdown" by McDonald's
These ads were funny but also paved the way for a spike in sales. There is a reason why some funny ads fail to hit homerun, and the reason is:
Humor should only supplement the delivered message.
When humor becomes your spiel, it can distract from the ad's message and ultimately fail to persuade customers. Funny commercials should utilize humor to enhance their message, not become the sole reason for their existence. Take Kmart's infamous "Ship My Pants" commercial, for example. The idea was cute, the concept was okay, and the execution was funny. While it garnered a lot of attention with its clever wordplay, Kmart was nowhere to be found throughout the ad. They focused too much on the comedy but didn't focus on the message. Where is Kmart now? Bankrupt. Was it because of the ad? Heck no. But a good ad could have bought them time to come up with ideas and compete with Walmart and Target. The research pointed out that whether you have funny commercials or not, you need to emphasize the advertised product. Otherwise, you'll make people laugh and then immediately wonder, "what the heck did I just watch?" Now, consider Huggies' Geyser commercial. The ad showed their diaper being strong enough to contain a baby's pee (thinking of his severe bladder problems). That's how you feature an ad's advantage while portraying the product throughout.**The key is using humor as a supplemental tool in your commercial, not the entire spiel.**If you're looking for funny, effective, persuasive, and money-making commercials, we can help you out. Wizard of Ads® has been the trusted partner in creating the best residential home service industry ads. Want the same ads for your business? Book a call.