‘Wow, That Was Funny’: Humor Delivers the Message

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There is no doubt that humor captures people’s attention. For social marketers, who aim to change individuals’ behavior in order to achieve social good, humor can aid in effective messaging on sensitive health topics when other methods fail. Take this study from the current issue of Social Marketing Quarterly, which aimed to prevent unwanted pregnancies in young women age 18 to 30 with a campaign known as “Avoid the Stork”:

SMQ_v19n2_72ppiRGB_150pixWIn a sample of college students (n ¼ 594), cross-sectional survey results indicated that campaign exposure and humor were significant predictors of talking with and/or showing the campaign to others. Based on our results, we suggest that campaign practitioners should consider humor-based campaigns as a way to generate not only exposure-based effects but also conversation-based effects. Specifically, humorbased campaigns can increase the reach of a campaign through sharing.

Click here to read the article, “‘Wow, That Was Funny’’: The Value of Exposure and Humor in Fostering Campaign Message Sharing” in the June issue of Social Marketing Quarterlyand stay current by signing up for e-alerts about new research from the journal.

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