Humor in Advertising

Humor in Advertising

Many of the most memorable ad campaigns around tend to be funny. Advertisers use this strategy to attract customers to their product. Audiences like to be entertained, but not pitched. People will pay more attention to a humorous commercial than a factual or serious one, opening themselves up to be influenced. The key to funny advertising is assuring the humor is appropriate to both product and customer. The balance between funny and obnoxious can often be delicate; and a marketer must be certain the positive effects outweigh the negative before an advertisement can be introduced.
The best products to sell using humor tend to be those that consumers have to think the least about. Products that are relatively inexpensive, and often consumable, can be represented without providing a lot of facts, and that’s where there’s room for humor. Candy, food, alcohol, tobacco and toys/entertainment related products have proven to benefit the most from humor in their campaigns. One of the most important things to keep in mind is relevance to the product. An example of an extremely successful humorous campaign is the series of “Yo Quiero Taco Bell” commercials. The star, a tiny talking Chihuahua who is passionate about his Taco Bell got people repeating the company’s name across the country. The repetition of the company name and the actual content of the commercial reinforce the message in a relevant manner. Taco Bell saw a substantial rise in sales and their own mascot became a pop icon.
Another point to consider when using humor in advertising is that different things are funny to different people. A commercial that may leave one person gripping their sides from laughter may leave a bad taste in another’s mouth. The target market must always be considered. What’s funny in a client presentation may not be funny on an airplane, at a country club or in a hospital. An example of a recent humorous product introduction is Mike’s Hard Lemonade. These commercials feature over exaggerated and comical violence with the underlining message that no one’s day is hard enough to pass up a Mike’s. It failed, ranking as one of the year’s most hated campaigns by both men and woman according to 2002’s Ad Track, a consumer survey. The series of commercials are aimed at 21-29 year old males and the repetition of comical violence (such as a construction worker being impaled on the job and a lumberjack cutting off his own foot) gets less and less funny every time it’s viewed. Eventually the joke just wore out and the commercial became annoying and offensive.
Humor in advertising tends to improve brand recognition, but does not improve product recall, message credibility, or buying intentions. In other words, consumers may be familiar with and have good feelings towards the product, but their purchasing decisions will probably not be affected. One of the major keys to a successful humorous campaign is variety, once a commercial starts to wear out there’s no saving it without some variation on the concept. Humorous campaigns are often expensive because they have to be constantly changed. Advertisers must remember that while making the customer laugh, they have to keep things interesting, because old jokes die along with their products.

Ten Fun Ways to Liven up Any Presentation

Ten Fun Ways to Liven up Any Presentation

Most of us would agree that having humor in our lives increases rapport, strengthens our relationships and overcomes communication barriers. People who work in a positive, often playful environment are more likely to stay. Productivity and creativity increase while stress is reduced. We just feel better after a good laugh. Think funny!
1. Open with a humorous story. . I remember the time the lights when out and I fell off the stage. I wasn’t hurt and quickly said, Now I will take questions from the floor. I’m at my best when taking questions in the dark. Before you can be funny, you must learn to see funny. Find the humor around you, in your life every day. The lady who takes an aisle seat rather tan sit next to the window . . . doesn’t want to mess up her hair. Practice telling the story out loud, and cut out any parts that aren’t crucial. As Shakespeare so wisely said, "Brevity is the soul of wit."
2. Use props (candy bars, hats, funny faces, etc.) Props can be used as a metaphor or an analogy for a point you are introducing. They get your creative juices working while providing an anchor for your audience to focus on.
3. Cartoons use your own or others a picture saves a 1000 words. Put cartoons on an overhead or use as part of a PowerPoint presentation.
4. Humor – should be relevant to your topic. Tom Peters said, I deeply believe in humor; not in jokes. Humor is spectacular. Humor relieves anxiety and tension, serves as outlet for hostility and anger, and provides a healthy escape from reality. It lightens heaviness related to critical illness, trauma, disfigurement, and death. It comes as no surprise that many people are utilizing humor to deal with the trying times. But is the humor timely? Is it appropriate?
Do not use ethnic, racist, political or religious jokes. Include a joke that helps bring back the attention of the audience or as a way to lighten up your remarks. We all can use a good laugh from a well timed, funny joke.
5. Self effacing humor- it is better to admit you made a mistake than to admit that you are one. One of my lines as a mother of five is: For someone who isn’t Catholic, I sure did my share for the pope! Phyllis Diller is in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the most laughs per minute. A laugh is measured by:
5 points if everyone is laughing and applauding
4 points if everyone is laughing and there’s a smattering of applause
3 points if everyone laughs but there’s no applause
2 points if some people are laughing
1 point for a titter or giggle
6.Mime- Marcel Marceau makes us laugh and moves us. Charlie Chaplin was an all time great without using the spoken word.
7.Move Your Body Try lifting your nose, look off to the side, jut out the bottom of your jaw, and notice how you become arrogant or aloof, Take a wide stance, shift your hips forward, and now you’ve just gained 50 pounds. The use of body movements will help to visually enhance your remarks.
8.Repetitive oral recitation- (repeat after me, Remember, if you can see funny, you can be funny. Repeat a particular sentence throughout your presentation to encourage audience retention.
9. Use taped music for a stretch break. Get the audience to sing a funny song. Pass out words to a song. Lighten up your attendees have some fun and your audience retention will increase. Don’t be afraid to be theatrical or silly. It’s why we pay actors the big bucks; and your audiences won’t forget you. Be outrageous. It’s the only place that isn’t crowded.
10. Group exercise a fun way to conclude your presentation is to use a group exercise. Use the football huddle to get the group to repeat a cheer or an affirmation to take some action.

Special Delivery! Tips for Improving Your Humor

Special Delivery! Tips for Improving Your Humor

Delivering humorous speeches involves a lot more than simply having good material. Take some time to incorporate these tips into your presentations and watch the fun and laughter factors rise.
In Fun
Sigmund Freud wrote: "The most favorable condition for comic pleasure is a generally happy disposition in which one is in the mood for laughter."
This concept is called "in fun." If you want your audience to laugh, they must be in fun. You, the speaker, must be in fun. The emcee or program coordinator must be in fun. The whole program should be designed in fun. Do anything you can to be sure your audience knows that it’s OK to laugh.
Time Of Day
The first speaker of the day for an early morning program should not expect hearty laughter. People are not conditioned to laugh a great deal in the early morning. Many won’t even be awake yet. Use more information and less humor. It’s important for you to know when not to expect hearty laughter. It would be a waste of time to use your best material at a time when laughter normally wouldn’t be expected. The poor response also brings your energy level down. Many consider brunch and lunch to be the best times of day to expect a responsive audience. In the afternoon people are starting to get tired so don’t expect laughter to be as intense.
Male/Female Makeup of Audience
All-female audiences tend to laugh more easily and louder than all-male audiences. Audiences that consist of more than 50 percent women are good too. The presence of the females provides a good buffer and makes it OK for the "big-ego" men to laugh.
Size
No, I’m not talking about how much you weigh today. I’m saying that the size of your audience has a direct effect on the types of humor which are most appropriate. Members of small business groups tend to be too self-conscious to laugh much. Use short one-liners. Don’t use any long stories or jokes. In larger groups it’s OK to stretch to jokes and short stories.
Pre-Program Research
The more you know about your audience, the better able you will be to pick the humor that will get the greatest response. Your research before the program will also allow you to uncover the group’s inside humor.
Seating
The best seating arrangement for laughter is semicircular theater style. When audience members are seated close together on a curve, they can look to their left or right and see the faces of each person in the row. This togetherness allows laughter to pass immediately from one person to the other. Contact NSA member and seating expert Paul Radde for advanced seating information.
Choose Funnier Words
Your word choice can be the key to creating a successful witty line or a dud. In particular, words with the "K" sound in them are funny. Cucumber is funnier than mushroom. Cupcake is funnier than pastry. Turkey is a funnier word than loser.
Deliver The Punch
Some humorists will disagree, but I say deliver your punch line to one person and make sure that person is going to laugh. You must punch the line out a little harder and with a slightly different voice than the rest of the joke. Lean into the microphone and say it louder and more clearly than you said the setup lines. If the audience does not hear the punch line, they aren’t going to laugh.
Deliver the punch line to a person you know will laugh, so that others will be positively influenced to laugh. How do you know if a person will laugh or not? Pay attention to those who have been laughing, those nodding their heads in agreement with you during the program, and those you identified before the program.
Pause
Pausing just before and just after your punch line gives the audience a chance to "get" the humor and laugh. Absolutely do not continue to talk when laughter is expected. If you do, you will "step on" your laughter and squelch it quickly.
Make It Relevant
If you make all your attempts at humor relevant to your presentation, you get an automatic excuse from your mother if your humor is not all that funny. If your humor is received as funny, so much the better; but if it isn’t, at least you made your point. Audiences will be much more tolerant if the humor ties into the subject at hand. Use this formula:
A. Make your point.
B. Illustrate your point with something funny.
C. Restate your point.
Vary The Types
The above formula would get boring and redundant rather quickly if you used the exact same type of humor every time for part B. By varying the type of humor in B, you can go on virtually forever, and no one will recognize that you are using a formula. I have identified more than 34 different types of humor to plug into the formula. You could use one liners, jokes, humorous props, funny stories, magic, cartoons or other funny visuals.
Rule Of Three
One of the most pervasive principles in the construction of humorous situations is the "Rule of Three." You will see it used over and over because it’s simple, it’s powerful, and it works. (See, I just used it there in a non-funny situation.) Most of the time in humor the Rule of Three is used in the following fashion: The first comment names the topic, the second sets a pattern, and the third unexpectedly switches the pattern, making it funny. Here’s an example from a brochure advertising my seminars:
In the "How to Get There" section
From Washington, D.C., take Route 50.
From Baltimore, Md., take Route 95.
From Bangkok, Thailand, board Thai Airways.
Look Funnier
I have been accused of being too "corporate-looking¡¨ to be funny. When I’m being funny, I use facial expressions, odd body angles and bizarre comments and props to make up for my "normal" look. Those of you that have obvious physical characteristics that can be used in teasing yourself have an advantage. People love characters who are not afraid of teasing themselves. You can enhance the funny look with fun patterns and colors on ties and dresses, hats and funny glasses.
Bombproof Your Talks
Are you afraid of bombing when you get up in front of a group? You don’t have to be. With proper material selection, a few prepared comments in case of unexpected problems and attention to time, worries about bombing can be virtually eliminated. As in tip above, make sure your material is relevant to your topic, and keep it short. The longer a piece of humor is, the funnier it better be.
A. Saver Lines
Saver Lines are what you say when your supposedly humorous statement does not get a laugh. You shouldn’t be ashamed to use saver lines. The top comedians in the world need them and some purposely make mistakes so they can get a laugh from the saver line. Johnny Carson was an expert at this. After a poor response to a joke, he would say a comically insulting line like, "This is the kind of crowd that would watch Bambi through a sniper scope." Don’t overdo the saver lines. If you have to use too many, your material must be pretty bad.
B. Pre-Planned Ad-Libs
Another way to keep from bombing is to "expect the unexpected." Canned or pre-planned ad-libs are pre-written responses to unexpected happenings or mistakes that occur during a presentation, i.e., the microphone squeals, the projection bulb burns out, you say the wrong thing, etc. Prepared ad-libs actually do more than just save you. They make you look tremendously polished. Here’s the continuum: A bad presenter will stammer around when a problem occurs. A ZZZZZs presenter will say nothing and try to ignore the problem. A great Wake ‘em Up presenter will make a witty comment that appears to be spontaneous. The audience believes you are originating humor on the spot. You are just quickly recalling pre-planned responses.
Microphone Squeals
This is the portion of my presentation where I do my elephant impression.
Projector Light Burns Out
This is the first time I have been brighter than my equipment.
Highlighter Runs Out Of Ink I’m out of ink. I’ll be back in a wink. (remember . . . "k" words are funny)
Think Diversity
Our audiences are more ethnically diverse than ever before, so it’s crucial to watch your political correctness and eliminate sexist language from your presentation. Not only is it easy to offend, which will turn your audience off completely, easily understandable word choice is more critical than ever to ensure that your audience members "get" the humor. When speaking across cultural lines, especially, visual humor such as magic, cartoons and comic strips are the most readily understood.

The Power of Humor

The Power of Humor

What can you do with humor?

Sure you can have fun with it—or else why do people pay for the comedy shows and those comedy channels? You can also use it reduce tension, find a great bargain, keep your children in their seats…you name it. There are a thousand and one use of humor, but it leads to an ultimate goal—laughter.

Laughter is powerful, and much more powerful than most people think.

You can make women laugh and fall in love with you.

That sounds like a pretty bold claim doesn’t it? Let me explain.

Human beings have an obsessive desire to remain consistent. It is physically impossible to dislike the person who has already made you genuinely laugh, as you can’t resolve the conflicts and incongruity between laughter (liking someone) and disliking someone.

In other words, women tend to get closer to a guy who has consistently made them laugh! This not only occur at a logical level (“oh, being with him gives me so much joy and I want more”), but also at a subconscious level (maintaining consistency). Once you were made laugh by someone, it will be very inconsistent if you still maintain an antagonistic attitude towards that person.

Therefore, I use laughter to make women fall in love with me. The more women I could make laugh, the better get. You see, love is derived from the feeling of happiness and happiness is directly associated with laughter.

I’m sure in your entire life so far, you have made many, many, many women laugh, and sometimes you can get pretty good at it—sometimes with a particular woman or under some particular circumstances.

Sure, all of us can crack a joke or two. Sometimes we can be quite funny for a whole night… Can we all do it time after time, night after night? Do we all know the secrets that will make humor a natural part of you so that it’s effortless to be humorous and charming?

Maybe not.

Some guys talk about the "art" of making women laugh.

Sure, they can call themselves "artists" as they like, but the problem is… once something becomes an art, you won’t have rules to rely on and you can’t measure the results. Making women laugh suddenly becomes an uncertain event.

But the fact is…Making women laugh is a science.

The fact is… human beings’ reactions to different types of "humor stimuli" are predictable.

And there are tested-and-proven methods to match a humorous line and a subject’s education, personality, and cultural to create laughter.

Any man, regardless of looks, intelligence, education, personality, can learn the mechanism of humor and laughter and develop his own style of humor.

About the author

Using Spontaneous and Observational Humor

Using Spontaneous and Observational Humor

An impromptu quip will hit the target more often than a canned joke.
Imagine this. I arrive at a junior high school auditorium for a teacher inservice program. While setting up my session, I note two unrelated signs posted one above the other. Most of the 300 arriving faculty members had seen those signs many times. But probably none saw them as I did. In my opening remarks, I shared with them, "This is a unique facility. Look at the sign over the back door. ‘Restroom–Capacity 475!’" That fresh and creative bit of humor helped me attract interest and build a relationship with the audience.
Spontaneous humor is a wonderful way to connect with an audience. An impromptu quip will hit the target more often than a canned joke. Audiences are flattered when the humor is created just for them. The teachers knew the comment about the signs was not a part of my script. And often, an improvised touch of humor lends a fresh appeal to your entire talk.
Here are four keys to the effective use of spontaneous humor:
1. Preparation
2. Observation
3. Courage
4. Practice
First, let’s look at preparation.
What? Prepare to be spontaneous? Of course! Have you ever visited a comedy club and observed how the stand-up comic has an "off-the-cuff" ad lib for nearly anything that comes up? Think of those times when the comic chats with people in the front row and makes a witty remark if someone happens to be from Chicago, or works in the medical field, or is visiting the club with someone other than his or her own spouse. Such exchanges appear to be very spontaneous. But in reality, the comic is often making the "spontaneous" remark for the 50th or 100th time! The seasoned comic has prepared to be spontaneous.
In speaking situations, it’s a good idea to be prepared with humor to handle unexpected events. For example, what will you do or say if the lights go out or the sound system fails? If you’re armed with a humorous ad lib, the audience will be won over when they see the problem hasn’t gotten the best of you.
Preparation should also include a study of your audience. If you circulate a preprogram questionnaire to obtain "inside information" about the group, you’ll be able to customize your humor and make it seem much more spontaneous.
Here’s another tip: carefully note any effective off-the-cuff humorous remark made by you or an audience member, then recycle it during your next talk. Although it may seem contradictory, being ready with a few humorous quips can actually create an illusion of spontaneity.
The second key is observation. Since most humor is based on relationships, the more observant you are, the more likely you’ll be able to create humorous relationships and pictures in the minds of your audience. "Restrooms–Capacity 475" is an example of being observant. It was a bit of humor that created a funny picture in the minds of the audience.
On another occasion, while attending a holiday luncheon, I noticed a gentleman wearing loud green and red plaid pants with a black sports coat. On my way up to the stage, I passed by his table and asked him to join me. Once in front of the audience I said, "Bob has started a new tradition today. To carry on this tradition, next year when you arrive at your holiday luncheon, you’ll be required to exchange an article of clothing with someone seated next to you. Would the gentleman wearing the other half of Bob’s suit please stand up." With only a simple gesture and without any advance coordination, a gentleman wearing a loud plaid sports coat with black pants stood up! It brought the house down.
It’s also a good idea to listen and observe as other speakers make remarks and presentations before you speak. At a company awards luncheon it seemed as though nearly everyone receiving 5, 10 and 15-year service awards had started in the company’s telemarketing department and had subsequently worked their way into other jobs. I added a new line to my opening monologue. "People call me a comedy magician because they laugh at my magic and they’re mystified by my jokes. But I wasn’t always a comedy magician. I used to work in telemarketing!" It was on target and received a great response. The audience appreciated the fresh, spontaneous
nature of the remark.
Then there was the time I attended a function where a wide variety of recognition were being given for club service. During the course of the ceremony I noticed that some of the recipients were present and some were absent that evening. So one of my best lines came from a simple observation: "This is my kind of club. You gave out perfect attendance awards to two people who weren’t even here!" Simple? Of course. But highly effective.
After you’ve prepared and remembered to be observant, you’ll need to exercise the third key…courage! There’s no doubt about it: Trying out new jokes takes guts. But the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll become. It’s worth the risk. Besides, if your audience doesn’t laugh, just pretend you were serious!
The fourth key is practice. You learn humor and spontaneity only by exercising your skills. I recommend you set a goal of using some humor in every presentation you give. Your humor comfort zone will increase and so will your spontaneity as you gain confidence.
A great way to practice your use of spontaneous humor is to join a Toastmasters club. Their meetings help you hone your critical speaking skills. You have the opportunity to give prepared and impromptu speeches. Testing your humorous ideas, you’ll sharpen your skills. When the opportunity comes to say a few words at the close of a meeting, for example, use a bit of observational humor created out of the circumstances of the meeting. Or, if you’re assigned to present a joke during the meeting, bring a "hip-pocket" joke only as a backup. Then, during the meeting, attempt to create a fresh, new joke by exercising your observational skills. It’s not as difficult as it might seem at first. You’ll become more observant and will eventually be able to create five or six pieces of observational humor by the close of every meeting. You can practice this technique at any type of meeting.
By using these keys of preparation, observation, courage and practice you’ll become more spontaneous. You’ll add a freshness to your presentation as you customize humor to your audience and your environment. Your talk will hit the mark…and the funnybone!

How to Use Humor to Increase Sales

How to Use Humor to Increase Sales

Using cartoons can help brand your marketing and drive home important messages. Although surprisingly inexpensive to acquire, humor can be one of your most powerful marketing tools.
Humor puts your readers at ease. Readers appreciate a touch of humor in an otherwise overly serious world.
Humor operates on an emotional level, driving home your message in a far more memorable way than words alone. Humor makes sensitive topics more approachable while summarizing and reinforcing points that would otherwise be lost.
Different types of humor work best in different contexts. Many speakers begin with a joke to put the audience at ease, or a story about ‘a funny thing that happened on the way to the meeting.’
But jokes and stories are less appropriate for written communications. Jokes can be misinterpreted and depend on delivery and timing for their effectiveness. Stories can take too long to tell.
Cartoons are perfect for print communications. Readers who typically check them out before reading the adjacent articles appreciate cartoons.
More important, cartoons communicate at a glance. A cartoon can attract your reader’s attention and drive home an important point in a memorable way.
The editorial page of any newspaper shows how effective humor can be in simplifying complex subjects and driving home a point of view.
Humor also adds a visual dimension to your marketing, differentiating your message from your competitor’s. Cartoons encourage readers to look at topics they might otherwise skip.
Where do you get cartoons? One of the best sources is the Cartoon Bank, www.cartoonbank.com. Here, you can license reproduction rights to cartoons that originally appeared in the New Yorker Magazine.
You can select from tens of thousands of cartoons. You can search by topic or keyword. After choosing an appropriate cartoon, you can find out how much it will cost to license it, and then you can download it.
Licensing fees are surprisingly reasonable for most business applications. For example, you can license New Yorker cartoons for use in presentations for just $19.95! For other purposes, the cost depends on where you’re going to use it and how many people will see it.
There are, of course, other sources of cartoons. If you see a cartoon you like in a newspaper or magazine, write the cartoonist in care of the publication and ask about availability and pricing. If there is a particular cartoonist whose style you like, contact the cartoonist about a custom cartoon.
This has worked very well for me and I owned total rights to use the cartoon any way I wanted.
Cartoons are great for the home page of your website, newsletters, training materials and presentation visuals.
In each case, the unexpectedness of a cartoon immediately captures your audience or reader’s attention and visually reinforces your message.
Here are some suggestions for marketing with cartoons:
1. When in doubt, leave it out. If the cartoon does not perfectly support your point, leave it out.
2. Always add the copyright information described in the licensing agreement.
3. Never run a cartoon without first obtaining a license to reproduce it.
4. Optimization. After downloading, resize and sharpen the cartoon in an image-editing program like Photoshop and export it in the proper file format.
Using humor in the form of cartoons is a powerful way to brand your marketing and drive home important messages to your prospects and clients.

Why We Laugh!

Why We Laugh!

Why do we laugh? Is it a silly pun, riddles, amusing stories, anecdotes, funny one liners, silly quotes, hilarious jokes, dirty jokes, clean jokes, a commentary on world politics?
Maybe it’s the comic who jokes about his funny experiences as a child or the comic who amuses you with his raunchy x-rated humor. Or is it the slapstick of some up and coming comic who tickles your funny bone. Maybe it’s the dry wit of a political humorist or the silly antics of a young entertainer. According to leading psychologist people usually respond with laughter to anything that disrupts their comfort zone. Most successful humorist know this and use this fact to strike a chord with their audience.
Leading psychologist also further explain laughter is a product of evolution. We laugh to release hidden fears, a rise in tension. Laughter is a pressure release valve. Accordingly, laughter is a natural tool to protect ourselves against uncomfortable emotions. Remember an uncomfortable situation where the tension was so thick you could slice a knife with it. Soon the sound of laughter released the heavy situation and lightened the load tremendously.
Think about very young toddlers. What makes them laugh? Anything that surprises. A funny sound. A funny face. And they giggle like crazy.
When we are pre-teens we find puns, riddles, silly jokes about school, teachers, friends, very amusing.
Teens find jokes about the opposite sex, authority figures, or anything parents would find offensive very funny.
When we mature into our twenties and thirties our sense of humor matures. We develop a more sophisticated intellectual humor. Funny stories amuse us or stories with a twist or double meaning.
When we mature beyond our forties our sense of humor is more about the life experiences we share, about culture, and community. And consequently it will take sophistication plus matured intelligence to understand the deeper meaning of humor at this stage.
At this stage many people might find your political jokes, world affairs jokes, or the joke on the decline in morality strikingly humorous. Where as a teen or individuals in their twenties would fail to comprehend your humor.
Perhaps the most encouraging thing about laughter or humor is that it is contagious. Start your day with a smile and a good dose of humor. Share it with those around you!
(C)2004 – FreeCoolJokes Group

It’s Not Funny Unless it Sells

It’s Not Funny Unless it Sells

We’ve all encountered humor in advertising. TV ads showing smart dogs fetching their owners a beer. Radio spots with aliens purifying our drinking water. Print ads with famous people wearing milk mustaches. Many use dry wit. Others are just plain silly. A few are in bad taste. And some, heaven forbid, aren’t even funny.

<b>Humor has its place</b>

Does humor really work in advertising? Is it okay to get a few laughs when talking about your product or service? Does humor sell? There are no absolutes, no easy answers. What we do know is that, as in real life, humor has its place. In advertising, that place must always be clearly defined and understood. For humor used indiscriminately can be a disaster—for your product, your image and your sales. And that’s not funny.

<b>Making human contact</b>

The object of humor is to make human contact and break the boredom barrier. This invisible barrier goes up the second your audience is exposed to any advertising. It’s the result of tens of thousands of ads that confront us every year. For the human brain, it’s a matter of survival. It simply shuts out what it sees or hears and says, “I know a sales pitch is coming, I’ve been bored to death before, I’m tuning out.” Humor is one way to get through. Used correctly, humor leads your audience to a common ground of understanding. A feeling of "we’re all in this together." Just like a speaker who starts with a humorous anecdote to ‘break the ice,’ using a funny situation or character can make your audience more receptive as you segue into your selling message.

<b>Tread lightly and cautiously</b>

By the same token, an off-color joke or inappropriate comment about the audience or any individual member can be an instant turnoff and shoot that barrier right back up—maybe even permanently. The same holds true for humor that leaves a negative impression about your product or service. I remember hearing about one ad for a burial service with the headline: “We’re the last ones to let you down.” Sales didn’t exactly jump through the roof. Most professional comedians know that the best humor is broad and even handed, reflecting universal truths or situations that apply to us all. They set up a character we can all identify with, then put that character through actions we may have experienced. A comedian once gave me an example of what’s funny and what isn’t. "A guy slipping on a banana peel isn’t funny. A guy trying not to slip on a banana peel, now that can be funny.”

<b>It’s not easy being funny, especially in print</b>

Being funny in TV or even radio isn’t easy, but it’s even harder in print. There’s no motion, no special effects, no silly animal tricks or goofy character antics—just a static visual and headline. Print is one medium where creative writers really have to work hard for the right result: humor that sells. For, in just one snapshot, you’ve got to establish the character, set up the situation, and payoff the punch line. It’s like a comic strip with only one frame. It can be done, but it’s not easy. And once you’ve broken the boredom barrier, there’s still lots of work to be done.

<b>Once the laughing stops, there’s still that pesky product to sell</b>

Too many advertisers forget that the object of any ad, funny or not, is to get people to try the product being advertised. It’s okay for your audience to respond with, ”That’s a funny ad" as long as they also come away with, "That’s a great product!" Humor should accent or showcase your product’s identity or key features, not bury them in a laugh. Some really funny ads suffer from "generic identity." Your audience loves the ad, but confuses your product with your competitor’s. Not funny.

One final thing to keep in mind about humor: it’s not for amateurs. As any professional comedian will tell you, being funny is serious business. So even if you fancy yourself a master joke teller and life of the party, you should still leave creating funny ads to the pros.

Humor To Relieve Stress

Humor To Relieve Stress

There is no doubt that people are more stressed than ever before. While a lot of people think of it as an inconvenience or a minor irritation, the truth is that stress has a negative impact on your overall health. The good news is that you can use humor to relieve stress. It has long been said that laughter is the best medicine, and now there appears to be scientific proof to support that idea.

People used to think that stress was purely mental, and that it only had a negative impact on the mind. Any symptoms one had from stress were "all in the head". However, new research has shown that stress may actually change the body’s cells, and it’s this change that leads to physical side effects. In other words, stress and its harmful effects are very real.

Using humor to relieve stress is one of the most enjoyable ways of improving your health. You can start exercising your "laughter muscle" right away. Imagine there is a string attached to each corner of your mouth. Now imagine the strings being gently lifted upward until a smile has formed. Go ahead…give it a try.

Did you do it? No? Well, what are you waiting for? Smile! Don’t worry about what anything else thinks, just smile. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, as long as it’s a smile. Excellent! You’re off to a good start.

You can purposely try to seek out the things that make you laugh, such as television shows (yes, it’s okay to watch TV), comedy routines, funny books, comics, and so on. It doesn’t matter if anybody else thinks it’s funny; humor is subjective. Heck, being the only one who gets a joke can be a funny thing, too. Anything that makes you laugh is fair game.

Starting your own humor file is a great way to use humor to relieve stress. Any time you find something that makes you laugh, put it in your humor file. If it’s a line from a movie, then write it down and add it to your file. Again, this is all about the things that you find humorous, so don’t worry about what others think (besides, who needs that kind of stress anyway).

All of the things we have mentioned so far are external sources of humor, and they do help, but you should also develop an internal sense of stress-relieving humor. Okay, that’s just a fancy way of saying "try to see the humor in everyday things." Life is funny. If you can find humor in the "bad things" and are able to laugh at yourself in a healthy way, then you will start to feel the tensions of daily life start to melt away. Using humor to relieve stress won’t only put you in a better mood, but it will also help to improve your overall health, and that is something worth smiling about.

How To Use Humor To Relieve Stress

How To Use Humor To Relieve Stress

Stress is a big killer today. It’s a suffering that cannot be escaped at the best of times though there is a remedy for it – humor. If you know how to use humor to relieve stress, your life can feel a whole lot more rewarding.

The power of a laugh can relieve stress and has been medically proven to help medical patients. Humor for all its sarcastic and jovial edges has been viewed as a discovery in the world of health treatment. Think about the last time that you laughed and almost split your sides. Humor used properly can help remove stress and unhappiness from the workplace or the home.

There are various methods. Look over the cartoons in newspapers and on television. Watch your favorite TV comedy particularly episodes on DVD or HD that you love as it tickles you silly. Satire can be very rewarding in this way. Comedy brightens up your day. For me, all I need to do is watch an episode of Friends or Red Dwarf and any stress is flushed away as I became elated from the joy of laughter.

Humor is vital to your general well being as a smile leads to laughter and that in turn promotes an inner peace within yourself. Using humor to relieve stress is as effective as your daily vitamins to maintain a healthy body. In the workplace, suggestions include a joke calendar and best joke of the day. As this instills happiness, the off-shoot of the activity results in boosted morale amoungst employees.

Now, I am not saying that humor should replace your local therapist but what I am saying is that humor will assist you in staying happy and healthy. Humor is a refreshing chocolate ice cream for the soul. Don’t treat it as something degrading or insulting.

Many feel humor is a threat particularly where an embarrassing story may emerge. It feels then that the story is promoting laughter within a group at your expense. It’s best not to view it that way unless it’s an attempt to actually undermine you in some way. Banter can be a funny event if it’s between friends whom understand each other and can share the experience of that particular story. You can be sure that someone else has an embarrassing tale to tell.

Do you have photographs of past events such as a holiday with friends and family? There will be some captured moments within those photos that will ignite your memory of that event. It may be photos of a fancy dress party or a stag night. There must be a bunch of outrageously funny moments in those memories to discuss with your friends.

Using Humor to relieve stress is about connecting yourself with a happier place. It’s important to harness the power of humor to make light of any stressful events and brush it to one side. It works in sickness and in health.