Brands scared of humour in advertising: Oracle

Consumers around the world are looking for brand campaigns that make them smile or laugh, however, businesses globally are shunning humour for fear of being cancelled, according to the Oracle Happiness Report.

It has also discovered Australian consumers are the most forgiving compared to other countries surveyed, being least likely (33%) to cancel a brand due to being offended.

The study was conducted in December last year and seeks to understand what people value and prioritise after the pandemic, it includes 1,212 Australian respondents out of 12,000 people across 14 countries. It suggests Australians’ notions of happiness are changing and it is affecting how they consume.

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Australians are the least likely (77%) to look for new experiences to make them smile and laugh. However, they are also the least likely to prioritise financial wellness over happiness (27%).

43% said receiving packages made them happy, but 10% struggled to remember the purchases they had made online.

A change in the Australian attitude toward happiness also sets different expectations towards marketing, advertising, sales, and customer service interactions. However, there is a significant discrepancy between customer expectation and business execution.

63% of Australians believe brands can do more to deliver happiness to their customers and 83% said they preferred brands to be funny; this number increased among Gen Z and Millennials (94%).

86% are more likely to remember ads that are funny, yet business leaders said only 23% of their brands’ general ads (TV, billboards) and 20% of their online ads actively use humour.

71% of Australians are more likely to click on a digital ad if it’s funny, and 68% are more likely to buy from a salesperson who is funny. However, only 13 per cent of Australian business leaders reported their brands use humour to sell.

In turn, Australian consumers stay loyal and advocate for brands that make them smile and laugh.

If a brand uses humour, people are more likely to buy from the brand again (77%), recommend the brand to family and friends (76%), choose the brand over the competition (69%), and spend more with a brand (57%).

“People are ready to embrace the funny side of life and find joy and laughter in the world around them, which includes brand experiences,” said Christian Ludlow Hyland, senior director customer engagement at Oracle APAC.

“As our research shows, most business leaders want to make consumers laugh more but are fearful of getting it wrong. With the right technology, leaders can harness data and the insight to contextually deliver a happier experience that can then drive lifelong loyalty.”


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