When committing to doing a commercial for your business or product, there are two main ways to go. Straight or funny. The simplest way to explain what you are selling is with the facts. Get to the point quickly and concisely. Hit the bullet points, relay important information, and let people know how to buy your stuff. Great. But not always memorable. Another option is to try to make a commercial that people will respond to and remember by going funny. Humorous ads are the ones that generally stick with people longer. They are the ones that pop in to your head hours or days later and make you chuckle. They are the water cooler fodder and have the quotable lines.
Either approach can work. Or be a waste of time and money. Like most things in life there are hidden pitfalls in the way of guaranteed success.
The first thing to do is evaluate your product. Some products address issues that just don’t lend themselves to humor very well. Can you joke about these issues? Absolutely. But there is a smaller window for error. If its not done quite right, you risk making a funny commercial, but alienating the people who could really use the product. Or worse. It could miss the mark entirely. Like some of these compiled by www.cracked.com
With most other products you can go humorous, if you are creative. The Mac commercials immediately come to mind. Starting in 2006, Apple ran a series of successful ads where they anthropomorphized two computers to contrast their features. Clever, funny, and original. Here is an example of one the more popular ads.
The Old Spices ads have been going the funny route for a few years now. Does this ad really tell you anything about how its better than a competitor? Not at all. But maybe you’ll remember it when you are shopping for body wash.
The best straight ads aren’t as memorable as the funny ads except to the people that they connect with. Commercials that draw people to a product or business by giving clear information can be as beneficial as any funny ad. After all, the point of most commercials is to get more business. And as long as your message gets to its intended audience does it matter if they laughed before they called?