Are Media looks to humour to drive engagement with women

Are Media has undertaken research on the use of humour in advertising, using cultural analysis, quantitative and qualitative analysis and AI-driven semiotics of social media posts.

The research will be used to inform editorial and commercial content across Are Media’s portfolio of brands as part of The Positivity Project, which will highlight the impact positivity has on health and wellness.

The ‘Humour’ research found women are more likely than men to use humour when they are worried or stressed, 87% for women compared to 82% men, and when they are grumpy or in a bad mood, 84% of women compared to 7% of men.

However, data from UK Kantar research showed only 22% of ads that feature women use humour as a marketing tactic, compared to 51% featuring men.

Are Media CEO Jane Huxley and GM of brands and commercial solutions, Jane Waterhouse, at the launch event in Sydney last night. 

Are Media research director, Nat Bettini, said laughter is an important survival tool regardless of gender.

“Evidence from our own brands also shows humour drives improved interaction. Humorous Marie Claire Instagram posts achieve three times higher engagement, and for The Australian Women’s Weekly it’s more than twice. There’s no doubt we have come a long way from the days when women were punch lines to mens’ jokes, but more can be done to use humour in advertising targeting women as we know it delivers results.”

The Are Media study, which was conducted in partnership with The Lab, identified five ways brands can use humour to make her laugh, make that emotional connection and ultimately impact the path to purchase.

This includes Modern Wit, which reflects on life’s ups and downs to get to the truth, to Tender Togetherness, celebrating close bonds, strengths and imperfections. Each of the five humour archetypes have then been matched to various product categories seen as best suited to achieve the greatest cut-through with women.

Are Media director of sales, Andrew Cook, added: “This ground breaking research will help inform our advertising partners on how they can better engage with women by using humour in their marketing. Our brands and commercial solutions team are currently working directly with advertising partners, using the insights we have gathered to engineer their content and campaigns to make her laugh.”

Kellogg’s-owned Special K has partnered with Are Media on its The Positivity Project which will feature across our portfolio of brands including Marie Claire, Elle, Who, Woman’s Day and Now to Love.


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