Advertising Is No Joke

Posted: February 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

On my website I am pleased to offer a “Portfolio Review” for aspiring advertising creative people. Every month, I get a few brave young aspirants willing to endure the slings and arrows of cold hard criticism.

Of course I am happy to quiver my arrows and provide accolades as well should I find them worthy.

One of the most disturbing trends I have noticed over the past few years is that copywriters seemed to have decided that ‘If it isn’t funny, it doesn’t sell”. In my opinion nothing could be further from the truth.

Great advertising lies in understanding and fulfilling a consumers deepest needs. Sure, entertainment is a vehicle to reach that goal but comedy is not always the surest route to your target’s heart.

For one thing, comedy is subjective. What one person finds funny, another finds boring, or offensive or just down right boring. Humor is a dangerous weapon that can easily backfire.

I am not saying that a brilliant turn of a phrase should not be used to create an attention getting headline. The point here is that making jokes about the product or the consumer is not always the most effective way of earning market share.

So here’s a piece of advice for all the aspiring Don Drapper’s out there. Have a look at your book, if it reads more like a Mad Magazine than the New Yorker, give it an edit.Funny-Jokes-Cover1


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