Humour for the Consumer


Many would think humour is a no go during a crisis, but we found otherwise.


April 2020 has seen a world lock down of unprecedented scale. Normal life has all but come to a halt. Many are unsure of how to reconnect with people - including advertisers. What content is appropriate for the solemn mood that has blanketed society?

This question is what every marketer is asking themselves right now. Luma deep-dived into ad attention and cut-through scores to answer it. We know consumer attitudes to marketing have changed drastically in the last couple of months. We studied these changes, and found some particularly interesting insights about humour's role in advertising during a pandemic...


Our COVID-19 study found 56% in the US said they would like to see ads that made them laugh. We also saw a strong correlation between people who saw a funny ad and people who wanted to continue seeing funny ads. People who laugh, wanted to laugh again - they were feeling good.

We know that positive feelings are what makes ads most memorable. In fact, our research shows that feelings account for 68% of purchase intent.


We retested some ads from our 2020 Super Bowl Study (as our pre-COVID control) to see how attitudes had changed since COVID-19. The insights we found from attention (cut-through), bonding (feelings), open-end (front-of-mind) and COVID-related questions, has provided some answers about what brands should be putting in their ads.


Here are two key case studies that demonstrate the impact humour can have during this pandemic.

Jeep 'Groundhog Day'

We found Jeep's borrowed humour continued to work well. If anything, the humour made the ad standout significantly more than it did pre-COVID.

Feb 2020: Attention 6.8 Humour 8.1

April 2020: Attention 7.2 Humour 8.1

T-Mobile '5G'

This example was interesting because it demonstrated an important fact for advertising humour during a pandemic - the message still needs to be relevant.

Feb 20: Humour 7.9 Casting 8.2 Relevance 7.2 Persuasion 7.1

April 20: Humour 7.4 Casting 8.2 Relevance 6.5 Persuasion 6.6

People still found the ad funny and relate well to Anthony and his Mama. However, the message '5G works everywhere' is not relevant when people are staying home. This made the message less persuasive. Check your message is still relevant to life during the pandemic. While humour is appreciated by audiences - it must still be relatable to the current times.

Stay tuned for more insights - including advice on how to best manage your brand during COVID-19. See more blogs and insights on our website.

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