The Psychology Of Being Funny In B2C Marketing

The idea of making a potential customer laugh might seem daunting, but that doesn’t have to be the case. It helps to understand the psychology of humor first, starting with why people laugh in the first place. 

Research shows that when we hear something funny, it triggers a release of dopamine in our brains. 

This gives us feelings of pleasure and reward. If a business can tap into this feeling and make potential customers feel good about their interactions with them, they’re more likely to have positive feelings toward that company overall. 

A well-timed joke can even help build trust between two people and studies show that it’s easier for people to open up after laughing together than before doing so!

The Psychology of Humor: Why Are Things Funny?
Key Takeaways
1. Humor engages and connects: Using humor in B2C marketing campaigns can create emotional connections with customers, leading to better brand recall and engagement.
2. Cognitive processing: Humorous content triggers cognitive processes that aid in information retention and recall, making your marketing messages more memorable.
3. Perception of authenticity: Humor can humanize your brand and foster a sense of authenticity, helping you connect with your audience on a personal level.
4. Emotional appeal: Funny content triggers positive emotions, making consumers associate positive feelings with your brand and products.
5. Cross-cultural considerations: While humor can be universal, cultural nuances should be considered to avoid misunderstandings or offense in diverse markets.

Humor Is A Form Of “Cognitive Disfluency”

Humor is a form of cognitive disfluency, which is a type of cognitive fluency. Cognitive fluency is when something is familiar and easy to process. 

It feels good to understand something quickly because it feels familiar, like the feeling you get when you see someone you know in the grocery store or your favorite TV show starts on Netflix.

When something doesn’t fit into what we already know (like an unfamiliar joke), our brains have to work harder to make sense of it and that can be frustrating! 

When we do get what’s going on, however, our brains feel good again because we’re getting new information a successful joke makes us feel smarter than we expected ourselves to be!

Unleashing your inner marketing hero requires understanding the psychology behind successful campaigns. Explore the fascinating world of psychological marketing in our article on The Secret Ingredients to Becoming a Marketer Hero, and learn how to create compelling strategies that resonate with your audience.

Why Cognitive Disfluency Is The Perfect Fit For B2C Marketing

Cognitive disfluency is a concept that is not well understood by the general public.

That’s not to say that it’s a hard concept to grasp in fact, it’s actually quite simple: if something is cognitively disfluent, it makes you work harder at understanding it. 

And when we’re working harder at understanding something, we’re more engaged with what we’re doing, which means we’ll take more time to think about and evaluate everything involved in that process including your product or service!

This is great news for B2C marketers because there are tons of ways they can add cognitive disfluency into their marketing strategies without turning off potential customers with confusing jargon or technology-driven language. Here are just a few examples:

Cognitive Fluency Vs. Cognitive Disfluency

To understand the psychology of being funny in B2C marketing, you need to first understand the difference between cognitive fluency and cognitive disfluency. Cognitive fluency is how easy it is for us to process information. 

This can be based on things like our familiarity with the topic or even how familiar we are with certain words. 

If you’re reading this article right now and your eyes glaze over at the thought of learning what “cognitive” means, that’s an example of cognitive disfluency it’s just not easy for your brain to process.

On the other hand, cognitive disfluency has been shown to make us feel good too one reason why people love puns (and why they’re so obvious). 

While they might seem annoying at first glance, they give us a feeling of pleasure because they require some mental effort on our part before we get it, and then once we do get it? There’s a sense of accomplishment!

Creativity is the key to capturing attention and boosting sales. Discover 15 innovative strategies to enhance your marketing efforts in our post about 15 Creative Marketing Tips to Boost Sales and Generate Leads. Uncover fresh ideas to engage your audience and drive conversions.

Humor Increases Brand Perceptions

The power of humor is undeniable, and it can be used to positively influence how your brand is perceived.

People who laugh with you or at you are more likely to remember you than people who don’t laugh at all. 

A study conducted by University College London found that when participants were shown certain ads before a break, they remembered the funny ones more often than the serious ones even in cases where they didn’t find them funny. 

“Humor has an incredibly strong effect on memory,” says Jason Gremillion, a professor of marketing at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

“So if companies are trying to build brand awareness through advertising campaigns, they should consider incorporating humor into their advertisements.”

Humor also makes brands seem more likable: People like products that make them laugh because it helps them relax lowers their stress levels and puts them in a good mood (which has been shown to lead consumers toward purchase). 

In one study conducted by researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences on the benefits of laughter therapy for heart disease patients with depression symptoms, participants not only felt better.

But were physically healthier as well their blood pressure dropped significantly after watching humorous videos every day for four weeks!

Humor Improves Likeability, Credibility, And Trustworthiness

Humor is a powerful tool for building trust, credibility, and likeability. Humor can be an effective way to connect with your audience on a deeper level. It’s also easy to use! Humor doesn’t have to be sophisticated or complicated; it just has to make people smile or laugh.

To start off, let’s look at the benefits of humor from an emotional standpoint:

Humor increases the perception of likeability, trustworthiness, and credibility: In one study participants were asked whether they would prefer working with someone funny (versus not funny) as a manager. 

The majority preferred working with a funny person (66%), which indicates that humor makes people appear more competent and approachable.

Humor Helps Us Connect With An Audience (Or A Brand)

Humor is an effective way to connect with an audience. It’s true that all people are different, and every brand has a unique voice, but there are some predictable outcomes and benefits of using humor in B2C marketing:

You become more likable. Humor makes you more likable because it allows us to feel comfortable around you. This can be especially important if your brand is selling something that could be seen as unapproachable or serious (like insurance).

You become more credible and trustworthy. Using humor makes it easier for customers to trust what you say because they know that you aren’t trying too hard to sell them anything you’re just being yourself! 

When customers trust what a company has to say, they’ll tend towards purchasing from that company over time rather than another company that doesn’t make them laugh as soon as they open the website’s home page.

You become memorable so people will remember what it was like working with or buying from your business later on down the road when they need similar services again.

Building a strong B2C marketing approach requires striking a balance between innovation and customer trust. Learn valuable insights on this delicate art in our discussion of The Art of Making the Most Out of B2C Marketing Without Losing Customer Trust. Discover techniques to establish credibility while delivering impactful campaigns.

Humor Increases Engagement, Boosts Recall, And Improves Usability

Research shows that humor can reduce stress and make your customers more willing to be open with you. Humor makes them feel comfortable and safe when interacting with your brand, which leads to increased engagement. 

Humor also builds trust by showing that you care about the customer as an individual rather than just an anonymous transaction.

When you’re funny in marketing messages, your audience is more likely to engage because they want to see what happens next in the storyline or on-screen action. 

So if they have any questions along the way and they will! they’ll be compelled not only by curiosity but also by their desire for emotional connection with you (which helps keep them around longer).

The Impact Of Humor On Perceived Value

Perceived value: humor increases perceived value. In one study, consumers were shown ads for a new type of pen that would spill more ink than the others on the market. 

One ad used humor to demonstrate its point (“Don’t be evil; buy this pen!”), while another did not use humor at all. 

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that consumers rated the humorous ad as having a higher quality, greater usefulness and ease of use, more innovativeness, and an overall better advertising experience than those who read the serious advertisement without any jokes.

Perceived quality: in addition to increasing perceived value (see above), humor also increases the perceived quality of products because it signals creative thinking and originality, and people like creative things! 

This can help make your brand seem unique in a crowded marketplace where nothing seems new anymore.*

The Impact Of Humor On Brand Loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, And Behavior Change

So why is humor so effective at driving loyalty, satisfaction, and behavior change? The answer lies in the way we process information. 

According to the dual-process model of cognition which proposes that our brains are composed of two separate systems for processing information humor helps people process information more positively.

For instance, when we hear a joke or an amusing story, we’re able to access positive memories associated with those events. When this happens, our brain releases endorphins (the feel-good hormones) as a reward mechanism. 

In turn, these endorphins activate areas of our brain responsible for pleasure while inhibiting areas associated with negative emotions like fear and stress. This essentially makes us feel happy!

Why We Like People Who Are Funny

In the workplace, funny people are seen as more likable and more sociable than those who aren’t. They’re also seen as smarter and more creative. It’s no wonder that companies that hire comedians have an easier time retaining their employees.

One of the main reasons why we like funny people is because humor shows us that someone else understands us even if it’s just a little bit of what we think or feel. 

This can be especially valuable when you’re trying to connect with someone from another culture or background; 

Humor is often more effective than empathy in bridging cultural differences because it relies on similarities between individuals rather than highlighting differences.

Content marketing is a powerful tool for showcasing your services to potential customers. Dive into the world of effective content-based sales strategies in our article on Using Content Marketing to Sell Your Services. Explore how to leverage valuable content to drive conversions and establish your brand’s authority.

Why Do We Laugh? Neuroscientific Insights Into The Psychology Of Laughter

We know that laughter is a form of social bonding, but little is known about the exact purpose of this bonding. Is it simply to show appreciation for a joke? Or does laughter serve some other purpose?

According to Dr. Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary anthropologist at Oxford University and author of How Many Friends Does One Person Need?, there are two key reasons why we laugh: first, to show our appreciation for something funny (and second, because we feel safe in doing so). 

In his TED talk on the topic of laughter and humor, he explains that people will often laugh more during times when they feel most secure around others for example.

When watching comedy TV shows with friends or family members whom they don’t see often enough to worry about being judged by them.[1] 

These circumstances allow us to be socially open without fear of repercussions from potentially awkward comments made while laughing along with someone else’s joke. 

But why do we feel safe enough in these situations where everyone can see us laughing at something seemingly silly like a poorly-timed pun or sight gag? 

The answer lies in its similarity with crying another human behavior many associates with being vulnerable (especially in men). 

Crying has long been thought of by psychologists as an expression born out of sadness or distress; however recent research suggests that crying could be used as a tool for self-protection against predators[2]. 

By shedding tears humans signal submission toward those who might otherwise want to hurt them; therefore bears do not attack crying babies because they think they’re easy prey! 

Similarly, when humans laugh together we display friendliness through non-verbal language signals such as smiling which indicates trustworthiness while simultaneously making sure our intentions aren’t misconstrued as threatening ones.[3]

Mirror Neurons Make Us Laugh And Help Us Learn New Skills Faster

First, what are mirror neurons?

Your brain is made up of billions of neurons. Neurons are cells that communicate with each other using electrical signals. Our thoughts and actions result from the complex interplay between these signaling patterns.

There’s a subset of neurons called “mirror neurons”, which help you understand what others are experiencing by allowing you to mimic their actions or emotions without having any direct experience yourself (you can read more about this in this article). 

For example, if someone knocks on your door while you’re watching TV, your mirror neuron system will prompt you to stand up and open the door because it knows what opening a door feels like based on previous experiences with doors. 

Your brain uses these mental shortcuts whenever possible to save effort and energy but they can also be responsible for some pretty weird things!

Our Sense Of Humor Is Related To Intelligence And Creativity (And It’s Highly Heritable)

We’ve all heard the phrase “it’s funny because it’s true.” But what exactly is that? Why are some things so funny, and why do we find them so?

Humor has been studied and debated in academia for years. Humor is a fascinating subject for us as humans and not just because it makes us laugh. 

It’s also a powerful tool to help us connect and build relationships through humor, which can increase trust levels between people as well as improve our moods and overall happiness levels. 

However, there aren’t any set rules for how or why something might be considered funny. We use a combination of verbal cues (language).

Body language (facial expressions) and even non-verbal cues (the way we hold our bodies) communicate everything from sarcasm to irony and sometimes even empathy or sympathy!

Some studies have found that different types of humor exist: convergent humor refers specifically to jokes where there is only one possible interpretation; 

Divergent humor refers more generally to other types of jokes like puns or slapstick comedy where multiple interpretations are possible; 

Cognitive incongruity theory suggests that humans’ brains need some sort of emotional release mechanism when solving puzzles or completing tasks quickly.

Humor serves this purpose by releasing some tension through laughter; psychological theory states that humor allows individuals to maintain control over their emotions while still being able to express themselves freely without fear of repercussion

Harnessing the subtleties of psychological marketing can be the key to captivating your audience. Explore the deeper aspects of consumer behavior in our exploration of The Subtle Art of Psychological Marketing. Uncover how to create persuasive campaigns that resonate on a psychological level.

Predict Personality Traits With Incredible Accuracy

If you’re not using personality tests in your business, you should think about it. Personality tests are a great way to gain insight into what makes us tick as individuals and how we can better understand our motivations and behavior.

The big five personality traits (Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism) have been used to predict a wide range of important outcomes such as GPA in college students (Srivastava et al., 2003), job performance (McDaniel et al., 2004). 

Relationship satisfaction (De Raad & Schouwenburg, 2000) health behaviors such as alcohol consumption or exercise frequency (McCrae & Costa Jr., 1987; De Raad & Schouwenburg 2000) and even political attitudes like liberalism vs conservatism (John Torday).

A recent paper by researchers at the University of Texas found that Big Five traits predicted the likelihood of success in an MBA program with accuracy ranging from .5% – 25%. This is quite impressive considering there were over 100 variables considered!

Increase Engagement And Conversions

Humor increases engagement, conversions, brand loyalty, and customer satisfaction. It also increases behavior change and perceived value. Humor helps you stand out from the crowd by increasing the perceived value of your product or service. 

You can use humor to make your business appear more relatable and friendly to consumers by showing that you’re human too.

Humor is a great way for brands to increase recall because it makes people pay attention; it generates buzz around a brand name; it gives people something interesting to talk about in social media posts which mean more potential exposure for your company’s ads.


In today’s world, the majority of consumers interact with brands through digital channels. This means that the ability to grab their attention and hold it is more important than ever. 

B2C marketers who use a dash of humor in their campaigns can stand out from competitors, attract prospects, and increase engagement and conversions all while having fun.

Now we’d like you to create your final sections based on the briefs we’ve provided you. You’ll have a chance to give them a test run by writing one final section that might appear at the end of our first blog post: “The Psychology of Being Funny in B2C Marketing”.

Further Reading

Explore more about the role of humor in marketing with these insightful articles:

The Business Case for Humor in B2B Marketing: Discover how humor can be a valuable asset in B2B marketing campaigns, breaking down barriers and fostering connections with your audience.

Injecting Humor into Marketing: A Powerful Strategy: Learn how humor can add a touch of creativity and relatability to your marketing efforts, making your brand more approachable and memorable.

4 Reasons to Use Humor in Your Social Media Content: Uncover the benefits of infusing humor into your social media strategy, including increased engagement, shareability, and a stronger brand identity.


How does humor impact B2B marketing effectiveness?

Humor in B2B marketing can enhance engagement by making complex topics more relatable and sparking emotional connections.

Is humor suitable for all types of marketing content?

Humor can be adapted to various forms of content, but it’s essential to ensure it aligns with your brand’s tone and audience preferences.

Can humor in marketing also convey serious messages effectively?

Absolutely! Humor can be used to convey serious messages in a memorable and approachable way, increasing message retention.

Are there any risks associated with using humor in marketing?

While humor can be powerful, it’s crucial to avoid offensive or inappropriate content that might alienate or offend your audience.

How can humor be integrated into social media marketing?

Using witty captions, funny visuals, and relatable anecdotes can help infuse humor into your social media posts and resonate with your audience.