Should Brands Use Humour During COVID-19?

Six months ago, we went about our lives making decisions few people questioned.

Not booking a table at your local cafe in advance? Not a problem! 

Today? Many problems.

Greeting your friends and family with a hug and kiss on the cheek? How else would you greet them? 

Today? Stay at least 1.5m away from me at all times please.

Jumping on a plane and travelling to Europe for six weeks? Amazing! 

Today? There is no way I’m travelling anywhere outside the 5km radius surrounding my home.

I never expected to hear phrases such as “don’t touch that, it might have rona on it” or “I just sanitised my hand sanitiser” come out of my mouth but alas, in recent weeks they have.

Shopping at Kmart, inviting friends over for dinner or visiting your uncle in hospital is now enough to make you think twice about the possible consequences of your actions.

Let alone, blowing your nose or sneezing and coughing in public, which will generate evil stares from strangers and cause your mind to go in overdrive about the possibility of being infected.

We have all sat through earnest government press conferences, serious work meetings, listened to journalists report tragic figures and read heartbreaking news.

It’s common for most of us to be feeling anxious, concerned and fearful during this time.

It just might be if we don’t laugh, we’ll cry.

COVID-19 is in no way a laughing matter. I’m not suggesting we giggle about the devastating effect it has had on our society, but in times of stress finding the silver lining can go a long way.

Christian Finucane, Founder and Creative Partner at The Core Agency, suggested humour as a solution to tackling COVID-19 related issues.

“I think it’s time to ease the restrictions on our thinking and let the creativity run loose.

And as any good laughter therapist knows, laughter releases endorphins that reduce the level of stress in your body and strengthens your immune system!

So, it’s pretty bloody obvious that even government COVID health ads should be funny… Imagine, even the message itself would be protecting people from infection, what could be more prudent in these fiscally challenging times?

If there were some fun games on the COVIDSafe app, more of the population would have downloaded it, getting us all back to ‘normal’ sooner.” said Christian.

The Rise Of COVID-19 Humour In Brand Marketing

The rise in TikTok users is a prime example of how humorous content is what many are searching for during this global health pandemic.

TikTok has 4.1 million monthly Australian users with 500,000 of those joining between April and June this year.

People have swarmed to the app to create and view funny short videos on everything from stay-at-home dancing routines to toilet paper shortages.

Users have welcomed the app as a great distraction to more serious events and allowed them to enjoy light hearted content instead.

The app has been so popular during the crisis, the World Health Organisation (WHO), Red Cross and other health organisations have created TikTok accounts to add humour to their marketing campaigns to spread messages of safety and hygiene.

How Can Your Brand Add Value To Your Audience?

What do Carlton Draught’s ‘It’s A Big Ad’, Paul’s ‘Smarter White Milk’ and Yellow Pages ‘Not Happy Jan’ ads have in common?

These advertisements leveraged the power of a laugh to attract audience attention to their brands. As a result, they were talked about, rehearsed and are still remembered today.

So here’s the lesson. Never underestimate the power of humour in marketing campaigns from social media posts to outdoor advertising to TV commercials.

It’s okay to have a solid belly laugh even during the hardest of times. It might be just what you and others need to lift the mood and release stress.

What Are Some Good Examples Of Effective COVID-19 Campaigns?

Head to our Facebook and LinkedIn to see one of my favourite examples of a brand that took a poorly timed outdoor advertisement and turned it into a humourous marketing opportunity instead.

I’ll be sharing even more examples of humour used in marketing campaigns over the next few weeks so be sure to follow Totem Marketing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn and let us know your favourites too!

Now I’m off to watch more @inspiredunemployed Instagram videos.

Remember to laugh through those tears!