Copywriting, Marketing and Sense of Humour
Today, we're talking funny copy. I know you know what I mean by that. We've all seen a few marketing campaigns in our time that rely on humour to make them memorable and impactful.
Spotify, for example, will often run a series of posters/screens/billboards including humorous messages like this one:
But there's a fine line to tread when it comes to inserting humour into your copywriting.
Be funny, but not too funny.
Be lighthearted, but not too lighthearted.
Be relatable, but also... universal?
In order to successfully write funny copy, ask yourself the following:
1. Is this comedy in line with the existing voice of the brand? Will it meet audience expectations?
Audience expectation is absolutely key in the copywriting world, and can massively impact perception and reception of marketing campaigns.
If your brand is known for its straight-forward, serious way of communicating, then you might want to steer clear of throwing comedy into the mix, lest you alienate existing customers who appreciate your no-nonsense brand voice.
(Unless, of course, you're deliberately embarking upon a rebrand.)
In which case...
2. Who is my intended audience? What do they like? What do they hate? What makes them laugh?
Who, put simply, is your funniness for?
Who is it intended to appeal to?
Develop a clear and specific picture of your intended target audience, then research this audience, and tailor your humour towards them.
3. Is my joke clever? Memorable? Specific? In short, is my joke funny?
The Spotify advertisement mentioned above works because it manages to make smart use of data in order to create a joke that is both incredibly specific and universally understood.
Most people will understand and derive amusement from the detailed information, even if they can't personally relate to the specifics.
As for whether or not your joke is funny? Here's a simple, 2-step litmus test:
Step 1. Ask yourself: Do you find it funny?
If yes, continue to step 2. If no, return to the drawing board. You are your first and best barometer for these things, and disingenuousness comes across on the page.
Step 2. Ask a diverse cross-section of your intended audience: Do they find it funny?
You'll never please everyone you ask, but you'll certainly be able to pick up on majority feeling and work out the root cause of any shared misunderstandings/issues.
4. Have I reined it in?
When you do include humour in your copywriting, keep it simple and restrained. Be sure that your comedy doesn't ever overwhelm the original persuasive purpose of your content.