Ever heard of gelotology? Make a guess before checking the meaning on this wikipedia page. Entertaining internet users with branded video is about a lot more than just convincing them not to skip your ad in exchange for a good laugh. Researchers in this field (gelotologists… Yes, good trivia for your next cocktail party) have found that when we laugh, changes occur in our brain and many parts of our body, which create a ‘feel good’ sensation and, most importantly, strengthen social connections. Basically, laughing builds affinity. So if your brand can make people laugh… boom! People will feel good with your brand, feel the emotional connection, affinity… you name it.
This works if your brand is the humorous storyteller, not just another spectator (or, even worse, an intruder). A logo at the end of a hilarious video might work to build awareness, just as you might remember the guy delivering pizzas during a great party. Affinity is a different thing.
Here are 5 examples of video ads that just nailed this concept. These brands not only appear in the ads, they are at the center of it, telling a story that resonates and gives people a good laugh. They are humorous storytellers. Enjoy!
#1 Geico ‘Unskippable’
This ad makes fun of all things traditional, including traditional advertising itself. An improbable family dinner (young kids with no smartphones at the table?), a meaningless ending line on the savings from a new insurance company, and a sterile still image with a gigantic company logo, just as in the TV ads of a decade ago. And just when your finger is ready to tap on the skip icon, the improbable happens…
#2 Toyota X-Wave Weather Challenge
Annoyed by inaccurate weather forecast? In this playful video ad, a Toyota Aygo has been rigged to pay back three wether forecasteres in their own inaccurate currency. While the Aygo becomes an ally for the viewers to take a due revenge, they will certainly remember the standout feature of the canvas sunroof!
#3 Nike Inner Thoughts
This ad is between funny and embarassing, as it unveils many taboo thoughts which people have while working out. As the ad rolls, it feels as if the brand knows something about yourself that you didn’t believe anyone would know, and you almost can’t resist begging the ad to stop speaking your mind out loud!
#4 Ford Mustang Speed Dating
This ad launched on Valentine’s Day brings together blind dating and common biases about women at the wheel. While pranks in the name of marketing are becoming a bit repetitive, Ford certainly has a right to play in this space and show how any blonde girl can ‘drive stick’ like a pro!
#5 Toyota Mysterious Stories
Yes, more Toyota, and this is actually an app + video campaign. I love this one because it converts a smartphone’s screen into a window onto the most mysterious part of a Toyota. And all the while, reminds us that the car is so reliable that we never really have to look in there…