In the book written by Claude C Hopkins, “Scientific Advertising” he disparaged the use of humour in advertising. In his opinion making money was a serious business and that the marketing should reflect this, gimmicky campaigns by their very nature were short lived and thus offered little in return for the advertising client.
However today we all know that raising a smile can break a brand out of the crowded marketplace but Mr Hopkins was correct that once the breakthrough has been made the hard part is to maintain the momentum gained from the humour.
Of course the meerkats used for promoting insurance have shown the correct way to achieve this.
What I want to share with you are a couple of more subtle uses of humour that I came across over the weekend, these will remain active in the long term and not suffer from over exposure.
The first is for the social media manager site HootSuite
This Snoozing… comment makes me smile every time I read it.
This of course has the effect of engaging me with the software, after all the default action in this case is a message stating that you have been logged out which means you may as well go and do something else.
Thus the site has driven you away and perhaps lost you to a competitor who is using a similar technique as the one above.
The second is for a site called Colourlover which is a theme personalisation site and their use of humour was even more subtle, I have highlighted it in the image to ensure you do not miss it.
Colourlover have taken a very mundane task and taken the time to work out a method of enhancing their engagement with the new user.
This sets the tone for the users experience of the site and as it is a creative design site means you continue in a warm frame of mind which leads to better creativity.
I am sure that are plenty of great sites out their using humour in their daily routines and it would be brilliant to hear about the ones you have discovered.
So what are the sites that make you smile through their use of subtle humour?