Why Take the Risk With a Funny Commercial?

As I was watching the Superbowl a few weeks ago, I had one huge question. Why would you waste 4 million dollars on an unfunny commercial? Personally, I found that none of this years Superbowl commercials were funny and this was a huge failure for the companies if most other people similarly to me.  When you make a committed effort to make a funny commercial there are too many different responses because people have different definitions of what is funny.

When you look at a company like Old Spice, they take huge risks with their offbeat humor and it meets varied results. Some commercials are funny and reach a large audience like the “Smell like a Man” campaign.

This was a successful piece of marketing because Old Spice went against the grain and took a risk with some off kilter humor. They hit a home run! But then we come to Momsong

This was a strange commercial that some thought was great, but far too many people were confused and upset by this commercial. They were offput by the Old Spice Brand and in this case they struck out as the original commercial did not last nearly as long as the Smell Like a Man campaign. I think it would be safe to say that the comedic risks that Old Spice took with this commercial hurt the brand.

Now lets look at a company like Duracell which made a truly inspiring commercial about deaf player Derrick Coleman and how their batteries helped him become the first deaf player in the NFL

This commercial was inspiring met the great appraise that the Smell Like a Man Campaign met, and overall did a great job to market Duracell as not only a great brand, but a brand that changes the world for the better. But the point I want to make with this, is that even if you think that this ad was overly dramatic when we are talking about the capabilities of batteries, the ad is still an inspiring story, and people will respect the ad even if they do not like the product. If this is a bad commercial, Duracell doesn’t become the crazy company whose marketing department hurts the company. It just becomes a commercial swept under the rug. Some people say any publicity is good publicity but I personally disagree with that.

When it really comes down to it, funny commercials have a higher risk a lesser reward when it comes to the impact that it has for their company. If a company makes a serious inspiring commercial, then people feel that they are truly making a difference when they use the product, and if the commercial is not received they way they hoped, little harm is done because at the very least consumers get a good idea of the companies goals. When a company tries to make a funny commercial, there can be some good payoffs sure, but the risks of making an unfunny commercial can negatively impact the companies image. It is a big risk to try and make a commercial that will appeal to the masses. When making a comedy commercial, you need to bring something new to the table, but since you need to bring something new to the table, the reaction can be totally unexpected. That is why I believe that if your company needs to have a commercial in the Superbowl, stick with something inspiring, there is less of a chance that you strike out, and just as good of a chance to hit a home run.

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