I once remember attending a Business Link seminar on marketing. The story was told of a man who ran a pest control business who sent a clockwork rat to potential customers. Apparently the receiving companies had a great time frightening the ladies in the office with the furry toy; and of course, the rat catcher got lots of business as a result.
Likewise, hundreds of TV adverts use humour to advertise their products. But does it work?
Those meerkats are funny, and I have seen dozens of their adverts, but I have yet to visit www.comparethemeerkat.com let alone www.comparethemarket.com.
Unless your business has a naturally funny or quirky angle to it, like rat catching, I would think twice about doing humour. People may laugh, but they might not be able to take you seriously, and most business owners want you to take their business seriously.
Don’t do funny if your product is no laughing matter.
Update. A long time after writing this article comparethemarket.com is a successful brand. Not so much because of humour but because those mongooses are so damn cute. And giving them away free with a purchase was a savvy move.