Humor is a funny thing. But does it sell?

What a great discussion to have in a world that could use a smile or two.

At Creative Department we believe the value of humor in advertising remains under appreciated within the marketing community. Humor can be bold, confident and memorable, and we’ve never been afraid to give it a go. We’ve leveraged humor in campaigns for a local bakery, a crystal barware manufacturer, and a scrap metal recycling company. And it works hard to gain attention for these clients.

Magda Kay, in her Psychology for Marketers blog, raises some great points about using humor to connect consumers to marketers. She sites examples such as the super funny Dollar Shave Club “Our blades are #@%$* great” awareness campaign, which happened to garner 10 million views online. That’s a lot of views. And you can bet that happened because the target loved the irreverent humor, and shared the campaign liberally.

Magda states “The reason why many advertising and marketing experts suggest you do use humor, is because it’s fundamental to forming positive relationships. We buy from companies we like, and humor is the easiest and fastest way to get there.”

In other words, using humor makes your brand seem friendly, human, and accessible. And when you’re dealing with people these are generally good things. Of course, there are occasions where humor just isn’t right, but we don’t have to tell you that. Some experts warn that there’s a risk that the humor overwhelm the message, and you won’t recall the brand, but we believe true examples of that are rare.

Magda also offers an important thought on the “selling” aspect of a campaign: “Any campaign you work on has the objective of selling. But if you break down the process, sales never come first. You have a list of steps your prospects need to go through before they are ready to see the offer.” Here’s the link if you’d like to read her post in full.

Overall, we completely agree with Magda. We believe that using humor, when appropriate, gives a brand an instant edge in creating memorable, effective advertising. And maybe the campaign will get millions of shares, like Dollar Shave Club.

So, perhaps the question should be, “Does humor entertain, engage, and ultimately lead to sales?” We believe the answer is yes.


Here are a few examples of Creative Department humor.


SEO strategy: More than just keywords.

Maximize consumer engagement through better experiences.

Creative Department has a long history of providing our clients with simple solutions for a complex world, a focus which has resulted in business success for both clients and agency.

With so much emphasis on consumers’ digital experiences, we wanted to offer a few basic thoughts on Search Engine Optimization, based on nearly 15 years developing digital content. Here are a few important SEO points to keep in mind as you work to maximize your consumer engagement.

 The landscape has shifted. Over the last 3-5 years SEO has become more competitive than ever. This is due to algorithm shifts and an increase in the number of websites. Your approach to SEO just might need an evaluation and an upgrade, especially considering how quickly things change in the digital world.

Part of a larger marketing strategy.  We believe in the power of SEO. However, the Creative Department perspective is that SEO should be utilized as a component to a larger online marketing strategy. It cannot be thought of as just adding keywords to a website and a ranking for a singular term. Because if that’s your expectation, you’re probably missing some serious horsepower in your marketing drivetrain.

When promoting a website online we must think of all of the other digital channels that ladder up to a holistic digital strategy. These include, but are not limited to Paid Search, Content Marketing, Social Media, Video, Display, Remarketing, Email and Marketing Automation. Consistency in messaging – one of the amazing benefits of search optimization – will make certain these touchpoints work as hard as possible, all within the brand’s established guidelines.

Building better websites. At Creative Department, our take is that SEO isn’t just about building a search engine friendly website. It’s about building a website that is better for people. Websites that are engaging, easy to access, and use. (There’s that CD focus on “simple solutions” again.) Because with a focus on maximizing consumer experience, you create websites that solve problems for your clients, resulting in stronger leads and increased sales.

Three basic forms. Not all SEO is created to accomplish the same results. Here are factors to consider:

Technical SEO: Promotes health of site for search engines to index and promote the site within search rankings.

On-page SEO: Website content that aligns to users’ keyword searches for improved rankings of the website in results.

Off-page SEO: Citations, local listings, and online reviews help users discover local solutions, resulting in organic traffic and increased local rankings.

A few words about keywords. Sometimes, when adequate research isn’t available at the start of an assignment, which is often the case in the current climate of ever-tightening budgets, we use our instincts and evaluate a broad range of keyword options. That way, we don’t miss a creative solution that offers a strong consumer connection.

Writing for effective SEO. Once you’ve found your essential keywords, we recommend that you first start by including them in on-page copy to help with SEO. These should be incorporated into current pages or utilized in creating more effective new content. But that’s just the start of their impact.

Remember to use a keyword in headlines and subheads, but use them judiciously. They don’t need to be everywhere to be effective.

Ultimately, promotion is just part of the challenge. Yes, a smart SEO effort can help get the right eyes on your website, but you’re not exercising the right marketing muscle if you haven’t considered the consumer experience once they find you. Whether you’re making a simple improvement to an existing site or building one from scratch, you should have a good sense of the actions you want them to take. That’s a key component of a solid SEO strategy.