Does humor deliver the right message?

When I attended The Financial Brand Forum in early April, I saw speakers show examples of social media that used humor. They spoke about how humor made these promotions more attractive to consumers. Outwardly or subtly, they encouraged financial services marketers to do the same.

I felt like a rebel. In the presentation my colleague Steve Bieber and I planned to give the second day, we downplayed the use of humor. We had examples of advertising where humor failed. We intended to say everyone has a different sense of humor and what you think is funny isn’t necessarily funny for the next person — or for your prospects.

So did we cave in and change our message? Not at all.

I still think using humor with advertising is risky. Yes, humorous ads can get noticed. But do they sell your message the way you want?

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