Does humour sell?

13 June 2017 | Blog, Content, Insight, News, PR

Tracey Carey,  Managing Director

Does humour sell?

Countless psychological studies point to humour as a social bonding mechanism, but you don’t need science to validate what we all know – that a good dose of laughter makes you feel good.

From a marketing perspective, humour can be a powerful tool. A healthy injection of creative humour – done well – can strengthen brand personality, enhance likeability and allow you to showcase its more relatable human side. When brands make us smile or laugh we’re more open to spending more time in their company, after all a marketer’s goal is to spark a genuine connection between brand and audience. And we all know that humour is contagious; our natural response to reading or watching something that makes us laugh is to share it with friends.

Used in the right way, humour can pay dividends, but humour for humour’s sake is no laughing matter. The number one rule is to be aligned with the overarching brand positioning and story, and it’s essential to really understand who your audience is and be clear about what you want to achieve. At Threepipe we’ve worked with a number of our clients on humour-led marketing campaigns – all with very different objectives – that have delivered exceptionally strong results.


Take Harvester for example, where we were tasked with developing a fresh PR and social approach to differentiate them in a crowded market, shift them from value messaging and to support their overall ‘feel good’ dining proposition. We identified humour as a scalable platform that could be gradually introduced into all channels, and executed in numerous ways from simple social community management through to more integrated content led campaigns.



Or for that bastion of ‘English-ness’, the England Cricket Board, with a reputation for tradition and formality but who wanted to show a different side as well as bringing in new fans. We worked with the wonderful Dara O’Briain who voiced a mockumentary on the much anticipated England Ireland series, and which generated almost 1m video views, over 100 pieces of media coverage and contributed to the sale of more than 30,000 tickets.


We used humour for a most unfunny product area – joint pain – for Flexiseq. The brief was to generate brand awareness beyond a ‘health’ audience into sport, and to leverage the client’s sponsorship of the England bowls team. We created a mockumentary, staging the fake hiring of Harry Redknapp as the next manager of the England Bowls Team. Harry was chosen because he had recently retired from football management, claiming his knee pain as a key reason. He had also been overlooked many times for the England football manager job that he really wanted.


In these days of uncertainty driven by economic concerns, Brexit, the NHS meltdown and the ever-present terror threat I, for one, am game for a laugh.


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