In public relations, where every word is a potential connection, and every message must resonate, the power of humour is a captivating force. It’s a tool that can make brands not just memorable but intriguing.

From evoking laughter to sparking joy, humour has the power to transcend cultural barriers and resonate with diverse audiences worldwide. This edition of Muse delves into the transformative potential of humour in PR, inspiring a new approach to enhancing brand affinity, driving consumer engagement, and crafting memorable brand narratives.

Why unleashing the laughter works

A study conducted by Oracle and author-podcaster Gretchin Rubin revealed compelling insights into the effectiveness of humour in marketing communications. Their research surveyed over 12,000 consumers and business leaders worldwide and found that 90% of respondents were more inclined to recall advertisements that elicited laughter. Additionally, a substantial 72% preferred brands with a humorous tone over their competitors.

Known as the humour effect, this cognitive bias makes information delivered with humour more memorable. According to the “Consumer Untold” report by Group M, a media consultant in Thailand, more Thais are turning to different platforms for entertainment and humourous content. The media ecosystem is expected to see a blurred line between entertainment, knowledge, and news.

Beyond boosting information retention and brand recognition, humour fosters positive sentiment and forges deep connections with audiences through shared laughter and joy. Multiple industry studies reflect this impact, which is a testament to the optimistic potential of humour in PR.

Elevating engagement through laughs

Research indicates that humour can be a game-changer in communication.

According to research by Sprout Social, 75% of consumers appreciate humour in brand communication, and 36% are more likely to purchase brands that incorporate humour into their messaging., indicating its potential to enhance engagement and forge connections.

A great example of the theory in action is 7-Eleven. In 2023, 7-Eleven Thailand captured attention with a playful April Fools’ prank announcing the launch of “Durian-flavoured Slurpees.” The humorous stunt generated widespread buzz on social media, showcasing the brand’s creativity and willingness to engage with its audience in a light-hearted manner.

There’s no denying that humour and the feel-good factor can supercharge brand recognition, audience sentiment, and engagement. However, like all superpowers, humour must be harnessed correctly and appropriately to be truly effective. Continue to our next article to learn how to tap into humour to raise your brand game.