When Funny Means Money: Sales

I know what some of you left brain logical people are thinking. Humor: It’s cute. It’s entertaining. But it’s just not practical.

Hey, you don’t have to take my word for it. You can ask the people at American Express or Jell-O. These companies understand that while people use logic to justify their buying decisions, emotion is what sells. And one of the quickest connections to emotion is humor.

Whey else would American Express spend millions of dollars to feature Jerry Seinfeld in their ads? (He now also has a $10 million deal from Microsoft!)

Why would Capitol One present David Spade in their commercials?

Why would Jell-O hire Bill Cosby as their spokesperson?

These companies understand that humor fosters connection, and that this connection, in turn, affects people’s buying decisions.gitomer When Funny Means Money: Sales

My buddy and Sales Guru, Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Little Red Book of Selling (and dozens of other books!) says that humor “is the best tool for relationship sales I have found… Laughing is tacit approval. Make the prospect laugh.”

Funny advertisements have evolved into a genre all their own. Super Bowl commercials draw as much attention as the game due to their humor and creativity. You can now watch commercials strictly for their entertainment factor on sites like TBS and The Video Vault. Madison Ave research indicates that ads which leave potential customers smiling have lasting positive impacts.

Humor and sales can make for some serious profitability as Bayer Pharmaceuticals can attest. They are the makers of Levitra (an erectile dysfunction medicine). Sales in Hong Kong were limp, so to speak, as this was a touchy subject to address in advertisement.

The company decided to inject some humor with commercials that included balloons (use your imagination). The result, sales rose (among other things) in a three month period a whopping 244% from the year earlier period.

Staples created a cool little product: a button that when pushed announces, “That was easy.” This humorous little gadget is so quirky and fun that people are willing to pay good money to have one of their own and/or to give to someone else. Think about how marvelous this is! A company has found a way to get people to pay for and advertise their marketing device. Ha!

When it comes to sales, funny means money.


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