Skip main navigation

The three main benefits of humour for luxury brands

Research shows that consumers love an advert that makes them laugh.
Profile of a girl in bright pink sweatshirt and large bright pink glasses on a bright pink background blowing up her cheeks with a funny expression.

In this new age of social media, new standards of branding are introduced to marketing.

Authentic and accessible brands are gaining popularity online, and it gets harder for brands to achieve customer’s engagement. According to a Clutch survey, more than half (53%) of consumers prefer advertisements that make them laugh. People love to spread humour, it adds effective qualities to marketing:

  1. It builds emotional connection: Many businesses still think their audience will take them seriously only if they look serious. Their language is neutral and traditionally dry. But emotions have a stronger impact and humour has the ability to bring people together. To engage their customers’ brands needs to establish a connection and be more approachable. Brands introducing funny content are seen as more trustworthy and relatable. Why? Because humour resonates with consumers and sticks in their mind. It makes your audience more engaged and enables your brand to build strong human connections in inviting consumers to see the personality behind your company and products.
  2. It sells: One way to communicate with consumers is to use humour to achieve higher recall rate. Humour makes any message easier to remember for your target audience. Research has found humour promotes brand choice because it both forestalls negative brand associations and increases positive brand associations (1). Interestingly for luxury brands, according to a study up to 57% and 58% of consumers from medium- and high-income households have the luxury of laughter: they prefer humorous ads. The preference for humour seems to rise with income (2).
  3. It helps stand out: The internet increases competition, and it becomes impossible to attract attention by doing what everyone else does. The inherent incongruity of humour makes it attention-grabbing (3). In injecting a bit of humour, your brand is more recognisable. Humour makes people take notice that your brand is creatively different. When “Serious” brands blend their marketing messages with humour, they draw attention and stand out from the crowd. Using humour has boosted brand recognition for many non-luxury brands. Following this trend, some traditional fashion houses have successfully attempted to humanise their brand with a more humorous campaign (see Gucci study case).

Reflective questions

  • Have you noticed a brand using humour?
  • Do you think it is effective?

Share your opinion with your peers in the comments down below.


  1. Americans Find Funny Online Ads More Appealing Than The Rest of the World Does. (2012) Marketing Charts, [Online] Available from: [Accessed 08/05/2021].
  2. Strick, M. et al. (2013) Humour in advertising: An associative processing model. European Review of Social Psychology, 24(1), pp. 32–69.
  3. Olenski, S. (2018) The CMO’s Guide To Using Humor In Marketing.
This article is from the free online

Digital Playground: Where Luxury Fashion is Finding its Sense of Humour

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now