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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 01-Feb-06

 


Wednesday 01-Feb-06 

Funny adverts

There was a TV show on recently that aired advertisements from around the world that deliberately used humor to sell. It was entertaining, and it struck me that if you could put together a good show just made up of ads then the advertisers are clearly doing something right.

A basic component of much humor is that it is unexpected. You set up strange situations or add odd twists to the end of the ad that make viewers laugh and feel good. And good feelings are just what advertisers want when they show their products.

One ploy is gender exchange, such as where men are shown doing work that is generally associated with women, sometimes even dressed up as women. For example household cleaning goods are normally a bit bland and ads are in danger of making stereotypical sexist statements if shown being used by a housewife. Do a gender swap and the whole situation is parodied, leading to women smiling as they see men doing the cleaning for a change.

And even the laws help. Recent legislation here has banned alcohol producers from implying that alcoholic drinks make you more attractive. Many drinks manufacturers already use humor--this law will only increase this trend.

Yet amongst the laughter, we must also be cautious. Although I enjoy funny ads, I also know that their fundamental purpose is to sell. Armed with this knowledge, however, I can then admire the art and enjoy the fun.


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