October 5, 2020

Why Humor Works in Advertising and YouTube Campaigns

video marketing with humor

Couldn’t we all use a good laugh today? Brands can and should use humor in their advertising to reach their audience, perhaps now more than ever.

There’s no doubt that video marketing grabs the attention of consumers. A well-told story provides entertainment while selling a product your customers actually need.

If you’ve created one advertisement, you’re likely aware of the potential power of video marketing. Video is easy to digest, which is why 72% of customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. And comedy videos are the most likely format to reach viral status.

The concept of humor in videos isn’t new. Long before viewers flocked to the internet in search of funny videos, the power was harnessed on TV with the classic show, America’s Funniest Home Videos (AFV). The show premiered in 1989 and is still running today. Humor works because laughter releases endorphins that make us feel good. That power is multiplied on the internet as viewers flock to social media to share hilarious videos with others.

Why Humor Works

The necessities of life aren’t usually exciting. However, these products are where consumers inevitably spend the most money. We’ve all heard the old saying “Necessity is the mother of invention.” It’s undoubtedly true, but it’s not likely to grab the attention of your customers. Adding a dash of realistic humor to the explanation not only grabs attention, it compels viewers to share your video with other potential customers. Consider these 4 reasons to integrate laughter into your marketing videos.

1. Get Noticed

The internet is cluttered with every type of content you can imagine. Even if your product will change the lives of consumers across the globe, it won’t get noticed if you quietly stand in front of a camera and state the facts. Humor adds personality and makes your viewers want to hear what you’ll say next.

2. It’s Awkward

Some things in life are uncomfortable. Adding humor to awkward moments is a way to make them approachable. Most subjects that naturally evoke feelings of embarrassment can be successfully approached from a humorous direction. Getting a laugh can make that all-important difference between a potential customer staying to see what you have to say instead of clicking away.

3. Breed Empathy

We’ve all been there. When life becomes completely overwhelming, you either laugh or you cry. Laughing is much more fun. A marketing video works when your ideal customer bursts out laughing and has the sentiment that you completely understand how they feel. “It’s funny because it’s true” is a comment that often applies to comedy. When you can hook your audience with humor, they’re likely to follow up to see how your product can solve the problem.

4. Sharing Power

The videos that have the most sharing power on all forms of social media make us laugh. People laugh 30 times more when they aren’t alone. When people are physically alone, social media works as a community to share this humor. The benefits for marketers are obvious: free advertising with practically unlimited reach.

video marketing

Hilarious Marketing Examples

Whether your favorites are on TV or shared across the web, these examples are proof that humor works.




It’s hard to pick just one of these great advertising techniques. Farmers Insurance “We’ve seen it. We’ve covered it,” and Geico’s motorcycle coverage featuring a popular Whitesnake song all make viewers laugh out loud.

Why it works: No one likes paying insurance bills and dry commercials comparing rates aren’t likely to grab attention. However, when a funny depiction of “that thing that could only happen to you” shows up on the screen, you combine entertainment with empathy while showing why the product is necessary.

Bathroom Products

We all know what goes on in the bathroom, but no one needs to talk about it. Unless you’re the company that needs to attract customers to a product in that particular market; then you need to talk about it a lot. Clorox’s “life’s bleachable moments,” the afore-mentioned Charmin’s “We all go…” and Luv’s “Live and learn,” campaigns are some of the most memorable in this market.

Why it works: These commercials take the awkward out of awkward moments while building empathy. These potential buyers already use cleaners, toilet paper, and diapers. They need to have a reason to listen to why a different product could be a better choice. Humor works to remind consumers of life’s messiest moments in the best way possible.

3 Online Marketing Favorites


Dollar Shave Club –

How do you go up against big name brands like Gillette when breaking into the men’s shaving industry? Apparently, the process begins with an expletive. After grabbing your attention, the video follows with a hilarious walk-through of the warehouse floor and a pretty decent explanation of why you should consider changing brands.


Chatbooks – You might have to be a mom to get this one, but it really targets the ideal customer nicely. A busy mom steps out of the bathtub fully clothed, and remarkably, things go downhill from there. Chatbooks takes the guilt out not being a perfect parent with many laugh-out-loud reminders of why moms are so busy.


Aviation Gin – Leave it to Ryan Reynolds to deliver a hilarious video without cracking a smile. Making fun of the competition is a quick way to avoid getting lost in the crowd. This is artfully done in a way that reminds us of self-depreciation, which spares the company the label of spiteful humor.

You’ll notice that all of the video links shared on this blog are from YouTube. As the largest search engine for video, it’s the platform you want to use to make sure your videos get found. Because Google owns YouTube, videos on the platform are more likely to show up in search results. Pranks, parodies, funny animal videos and comedy sketches all top the list of most shared YouTube content, so by creating your own funny videos, you’ll find a willing and engaged audience there.

Getting it Right

No joke exists that is loved by everyone. Humor is only a good marketing tool when it’s used in a way that speaks to your audience in a way that makes them comfortable. If you’re a beginner in the funny video game, consider these tips to produce hilarity and avoid disastrous mistakes.

Techniques to Try

• Know your audience.
• Keep it short.
• Employ a test audience to gauge reaction.
• Seek help from a video marketing service.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Bad timing
  • Offensive humor
  • Devaluing a serious subject

Humor does all the things we hope to achieve in marketing videos. It creates a desire to see advertisements, memorability, and the element of sharing. You create a relationship of understanding and camaraderie with consumers before they even try your product. Like most video concepts, humor can be a tricky element to grasp. If you’re struggling to incorporate humor into your marketing videos, Scenic Road can help you take the next step. Get in touch today to learn more.