A Little Chuckle Goes a Long Way

Think about your favorite commercials. The ones you remember. The ones you talk about with your friends. They're probably commercials that make you laugh. Maybe not rolling on the floor, laughing out loud laughter. But even a little chuckle goes a long way.

The whole point of advertising is to deliver your message to a certain audience. To deliver that message effectively, the people in that audience must be listening - actively listening. An ad that's funny or clever can help you break through the clutter, and get listeners to focus their attention as they subconsciously anticipate the punch line or payoff.

Humor can also be disarming. Listeners are less likely to think you're trying to cram a message down their throat. Maybe you're just trying to brighten their day. Or tell them a story.

So don't go too hard on the selling when you're using humor. Spouting a laundry list of fees and facts, and rates and stats won't work. A little dab will do ya. If you can use humor to make an impression with your overall brand message and create a positive association with that brand in the mind of the consumer, you have reached advertising nirvana.

You may think that's hard to justify when you want to measure the return on your marketing investment down to the last penny, but your advertising can't do all the selling. Your radio commercial can't open a new member checking account or write a new loan. That still requires a human interaction. So there's no need to try to fit every tidbit of relevant information in your ad.

Humor is a great hook when it comes to advertising. But, if the ad is the bait, you've still got to reel them in with superior personal service - the thing that credit unions do best. So give them just enough to get them to nibble - to make them curious, or make them realize that you provide a service they need. And do it in a way that brightens their day. Tell them a story. And build your brand.