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Humor in Advertising to Women isn't Funny

Humor in advertising to women isn't funny because it doesn't seem to exist. Where are all the funny ads that appeal to women? Using humor to appeal to women is great idea but often falls flat upon execution. Here is a car ad that is trying to be funny, trying to appeal to women by spoofing on the overt sexual nature of these men washing the car.

The ad plays on the idea that there are a lot of cliché ads with sexy women soaping up cars. It turns that idea on its head by having large, overweight, half naked sumo wrestlers. I appreciate that this ad plays to both my good humor and assumed intelligence to appreciate the satire. However, it doesn’t sell the car. There are no details, no information, no real truth in this ad, ONLY humor. I am left with a smirk and no recollection of the product itself. Funny, yes. Strong ad, no.

Using humor is difficult but this next ad pulls the idea off perfectly. A sign of its success is that I saw this ad not on TV, but because my father sent me this, laughing so hard, he had to share it. I don’t think he considered what made the commercial so funny is that this humor was based on a truth, a reality we all know. Most men love their gadgets and technology. They love one-upping each other, and this ad does a brilliant job of combining those two elements into one ad. Just as the car ad commented on the truth of females in ads are often portrayed as sexy and half-naked, this phone ad speaks to the competitive nature in men and their propensity towards gizmos and gadgets.

This phone ad is a much stronger success story because not only is it funny, what is funny is related to the actual product. The humor is in the technology, the benefits of having so many great perks to one’s phone. The humor reinforces the product and the branding message.

However, this funny ad is definitely directed towards men. It appeals to everyone in the joke, but likely to be effective in purchasing with the just men. This ad cannot be applied to women. So where is a funny ad for women?

That is the challenge! I can’t find that many! There is one that we referenced before about a man buying his girlfriend tampons. But there must be more! In writing this post, I have watched no less than 30 commercials tagged as hilarious or funny. And by what I have seen, you would think that either women don’t have a sense of humor due to the complete lack of funny ads that appeal to women OR that the only thing that can be funny is about sex. I’m not being closed-minded – this is a call out. I know there must be some funny ads that will result in a woman being more likely to purchase a product or service. Where are they? Please share your fave funny commercials here! I'd like to see examples of what works, what appeals and what is funny to you.

Yet another reason why marketing to women exists – women can enjoy a good joke as much as the next guy but have been left out of the comedy club. We're ready to laugh.