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Don’t (P)underestimate the Power of Puns in Marketing

I really like an excellent pun—ask anybody on my workforce. I believe it began once I was a child and went to a neighborhood celebration the place the magician’s stage title was “Justin Time.” Anyway…as a result of of my affinity for wordplay, it appears advertising and marketing was the proper profession path for me. Puns have had a long-standing presence in advertising and marketing campaigns and, currently, it’s made me marvel why.

Puns are sometimes crudely labeled as “dad-jokes”—maxing out the cheese-o-meter—so why are advertising and marketing groups utilizing them in their campaigns? They can’t be as dangerous as some folks suppose. In reality, in the event that they’re getting used to draw and retain prospects, they have to be interesting on some stage.

Yes, some…okay…rather a lot of…fantastic…most puns elicit headache-inducing eyerolls, however you need to admit, there’s one thing a bit particular about the intelligent nature of a well-crafted pun, proper? No? Just me? Alright, effectively, should you’re not of the similar mindset, hopefully I can persuade you of the magic of a correct pun.

Disclaimer: If you’re not a pun fan, you might need to head out now as a result of, with out puns scattered all through, this publish can be like a pencil with two erasers—pointless.

An Introductory Course: Welcome to Puns Pun01

In an interview with NPR (aptly titled “Not Jest for Pun”), John Pollack, creator of The Pun Also Rises, says, “A pun is notoriously difficult to define, but it’s a type of wordplay, and it takes many different forms…The most common type of pun is the humorous use of a word in such a way that because of its sound, you can interpret it in more than one way.”

Puns aren’t new, both. Shakespeare was a fan of the well-crafted pun. In Romeo and Juliet, for instance, after Mercutio was fatally stabbed, he remarks, “Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.”

This is precisely what John Pollack is speaking about when he mentions multiple interpretation of a phrase. It’s on the reader to dig deeper and discover the buried meanings. (See what I did there?)

Because puns have a number of meanings layered into fast quips, the viewers has to pause to totally perceive the joke. Maybe they even learn it twice. Then, as soon as it clicks, it’s like they’ve been let in on a secret—they’re in the know. Puns have the potential to say extra with much less and be thought-provoking, making them good for attention-grabbing advertising and marketing.

Creating an Emotional Punnection

Puns are humorous. Maybe not gut-busting humorous, however they’ll at the very least garner a chuckle or two. But does this chuckle actually show you how to obtain your advertising and marketing objectives? According to The CMO’s Guide to Using Humor in Marketing from Forbes, there are 4 key advantages to including humor to your advertising and marketing campaigns:

  • [Jokes are] attention-grabbing. Humor usually stands out from different advertising and marketing and promoting makes an attempt as a result of it’s naturally colourful and authentic.
  • People like to unfold laughter. Making your marketing campaign humorous imbues it with extra shareability.
  • Funny manufacturers are extra relatable and are seen as extra reliable and human.
  • Humor is linked to increased recall, which suggests any message imbued with humor shall be simpler on your goal demographics to recollect.

Happiness is an emotion, in spite of everything, and feelings might be highly effective instruments in relation to advertising and marketing.

As Instapage says, “Neuro-imagery scans show that when consumers evaluate brands, they use their emotions, based on personal feeling and experiences, rather than information about the brand, such as features and facts.” This is the case for all feelings, not simply happiness. You can most likely recall a advertising and marketing marketing campaign that tugged in your heartstrings (a technique Forbes calls, “Sadvertising”) simply as simply as you may recall one which made you snigger.

Using humor in advertising and marketing connects to every buyer and makes them really feel which, in flip, creates extra stickiness and helps them keep in mind your model.

You’re Punbelievable

I’ve clearly bought to incorporate some heavy-hitters in the advertising and marketing and promoting pun world. If nothing else, these will make you smirk and say “hm, clever.”

Lyft, the rideshare app, for instance, despatched this email out to advertise carbon neutrality on Earth Day. They’re telling prospects to place their booties on bikes quite than get right into a automobile. But, should you do must get in a automobile, you may carpool with others to fill the seats and scale back the quantity of vehicles wanted. Lyft referred to this as “butt-math.” What bought me was the CTA. “But wait, there’s more” is commonly used in late-night infomercials, however Lyft made it work for them.

Butt Lyft

Lyft included a extremely easy, generally used advertising and marketing phrase, repurposed as a punny CTA to suit the theme of the email. Source: SendGrid.

TunnelBear, a public VPN service, despatched this email out on—you guessed it—Cyber Monday. Being a model with the title “bear” in the title offers you a large number of alternatives to get inventive with puns. TunnelBear mainly rebranded Cyber Monday to Cybear Monday. Because prospects seemingly get an inflow of emails on Cyber Monday, TunnelBear used this as a chance to face out from the pack. Clever, proper?

Puns in Marketing - Cybear Monday

Even the followup copy refers to Cybear Monday as “elusive”—a nod to their bear-centric branding. Bear-y cute. Source: ReallyGoodEmails.

Even the followup copy refers to Cybear Monday as “elusive”—a nod to their bear-centric branding. Bear-y cute. Source: ReallyGoodEmails.

Lastly, we have now Bendon Lingerie. This email highlights their briefs, each males’s and girls’s, and captures the viewers’s consideration proper off the bat with the bolded headline “Keep It Brief.” A generally used saying, Bendon is repurposing the phrase to work for his or her line of clothes. For a lingerie model, it is a good pun. Would I like to recommend a shorter email, simply to play into the pun extra? Perhaps. But nonetheless, it’s fairly genius.

Bendon Lingerie Puns in Marketing

With this daring and above-the-fold headline, prospects instantly know what the email is about however are additionally drawn in by the pun. Source: Mailcharts.

Puns add just a bit extra oomph to your emails. The copy creates a memorable expertise and the imagery helps drive dwelling the humor. Combining intelligent copy with a well-designed email not solely makes the buyer take into consideration (and even doubtlessly share) your messaging, it exhibits that you just, as a model, took the time to make this a pun-of-a-kind expertise for them.

Punderstanding Your Customers

Above all else, advertising and marketing is about understanding your target market. If you’re promoting a services or products that has extra severe undertones, you might not need to contain wordplay. For instance, you’re not seeing Melissa Etheridge toss canine puns into her heartbreaking ASPCA commercials. That can be gauche.

In The CMO’s Guide to Using Humor in Marketing there are additionally potential downsides to utilizing humor:

  • The improper joke at the improper time could make your model look amateurish and unprofessional.
  • If folks suppose you’re cracking jokes for the sole goal of getting extra consideration, you’ll be seen as exploitative quite than humorous.
  • Humor can cheapen sure concepts or make them be taken much less critically.
  • In some instances, humor might be outright offensive.

The ethical of the story: you must at all times try to place your prospects first. While being intelligent and together with wordplay to elicit happiness can work for some manufacturers, if utilizing puns in advertising and marketing doesn’t attraction to your target market or align along with your model’s fashion, don’t use them.

To study extra about how your advertising and marketing know-how will help you attraction to your viewers, as people, request an Iterable demo at this time.

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