Humour as a tool in communication

This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular short briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from PRISM Amsterdam’s Jelle Hofman. 

“Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple.” We all remember Johan Cruyff as a legend in soccer not only on, but also off the field. His humorous quotes made him stand out from the crowd but always contained a nugget of truth.

Research has revealed that a Dutch citizen is shown 377 communication messages from brands every day. So how is it possible to stand out and keep your message at the top of a consumer’s mind? Many brands of course use humour.

Humour not only opens up new ways to deliver your brand’s message but, if you do it right and genuinely make people laugh, that’s something they’ll share with their friends either in person, stood around the water cooler, or digitally, via their timelines.

But it’s got to be more than just funny. You’ve also got to deliver your brand’s message, otherwise you’ll end up with an entertaining, “funny” brand that doesn’t sell anything or meet its business objectives. Remember Louis van Gaal’s time as coach of Manchester United? Was he a good coach or a funny one?

So, be original and inject your content and communications with humour where that can help deliver a brand’s message – but those messages and the brand’s values have to be reflected in the humour.

Check out the bench in the image above. It’s a simple, funny, impactful piece of visual humour from Nike, but it perfectly captures the brand’s core proposition – get up, get active, train, no excuses… just do it. That’s humour used perfectly to amplify the brand.

Jelle Hofman

October 23, 2017