Let’s face it. In our hectic and stressful lives, the only saviour is humour, and welcome from anywhere and everywhere, and if it comes from media (any) then it can change our mood and make our lives exciting. While the history is replete with humorous, witty  and sarcastic advertising, it is also tainted with some goof-ups that have done more bad than good to brands. Humorous advertising is a great way to connect with the target audience for the simple reason that humour can make ads entertaining than mundane. They have a better repeat value and are discussed amongst people if made well. Remember zoozoos!

Some of the brands that use humour well:

Axe: Okay, I know, that Axe has more of sexual and humorous content but it does end up making us smile as their adverts center on a comic situation or a thing gone wrong. Axe has done remarkably well to ensure that their adverts or TVCs are consistently entertaining and thematic.

Fevicol: Legendary ad campaigns by O&M have made Fevicol as strong as the product itself. In fact, Fevicol is synonymous with adhesives, like Xerox is with Photocopy or Surf with washing detergent. The ads are often without dialogues, subtle and centered on adhesiveness. We have been entertained for many years now.

Vodafone (zoozoos): The most creative and best executed campaign of past five years, zoozoos don’t make you jump out of your seat, but have a paisa vasool touch to it. Ogilvy again uses innovation to create character, plots and cutting-edge production capabilities to create a legendary campaign.

Some pretty average humorours campaigns:

Tata DOCOMO: It started well with Ranbir Kapoor stand-up act but has lost its way with the recent campaign. The stories are not too interesting and some times don’t make sense. I think the brand got carried away.

Maruti Suzuki (Kitna Deti Hai): Excellent idea that was inspired from the consumer behaviour, but the script was not the winning one. I have a feeling a good writer or more subtle insinuation could have created a memorable campaign.

Bingo: Very average stuff from Ogilvy India. Trying to ape dubbed ads, Ogilvy made a hash of it. Creativity is good but it has to have a connect with the brand. If creativity is not in tune with the product or brand USP, things can go terribly wrong. Bingo was a put off. JWT’s average stuff with Lay’s looked better for once.


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