Humor in Advertising

Topics: Theories of humor, Television advertisement, Advertising Pages: 4 (1493 words) Published: August 30, 2013
Raquel Fortuna
LEH 301-Humor: A Symptom of American Culture
May 18, 2013

Humor in Advertising
When you are watching television how many times do you stop and wonder how humor influences your desire for the newest, latest, and most improved gadget? And why do some commercials elicit humor in us while others deserve to be banned? Well the television advertisement provides the perceiver with a form of communication in which a complex, mental stimulus illuminates, amuses, and elicits the reflex of laughter known as humor (Alden et al.).There are many ways it is persuasive to customers since it enables them to purchase the products and services. The advertisers believe that if they make us laugh this will encourage our thoughts and feelings to be positive toward their products and put us in a better mood for their sale messages (Alden et al.).  

Humorous advertising can be found in variety of forms including television, radio, print media and online (Alden et al.).There cannot be a single definition, based on its complexity, as there are many types and ways to define exactly what humor is. Another thing to consider is that humor is the way humor is perceived by the consumer watching the advertisement. Humor is all around us as part of our lives. Advertisers compete on a daily basis to find ways how to make their audience remember how much their advertisement have made them laugh and feel good. The advertisements use humor as a form of story-telling, as well as surprise and incongruity humor techniques as a way to appeal to the emotions of consumers and sell their products in a more effective manner. Through the use of these various techniques: surprise, incongruity, and story-telling, companies can enforce a positive reaction of humor in advertisements while a negative reaction from the viewers can turn out into a banned commercial.

Humor advertising humor best effective when it is more recognized as well as with products that have been frequently...

Cited: Conger, Cristen.  "Is there a scientific formula for funny?"  07 June 2011. <> 13 May 2013.
Alden, Dana L., Mukherjee Ashesh, and Hoyer Wayne D. "The Effects of Incongruity, Surprise and Positive Moderators on Perceived Humor in Television Advertising." 29.2 (2000): 1-16. Web. 12 May. 2013.
Dubois, Lou. "How to Use Humor in Advertising." . INC., 31 Dec 2010. Web. 13 May 2013. <>.
Zinoman, Jason. "Telling Tales With a Tear and a Smile." . The New York Times, 04 Apr 2012. Web. 10 May 2013. <>.
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