It’s every advertiser’s dream to create a viral video that gets plastered over Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ (ha, yeah, because people care about G+). As we’ve discussed in previous posts, the chances of getting an ad to go viral are pretty low – you’re much better off creating educational or how-to videos that will gain a steady stream of visitors over time.
What about the 1% though? Those ads that practically promote themselves? One thing seems clear – most of them are utterly hilarious. Not just funny, but odd, quirky, and even downright bizarre. Today we’re looking at some of the weirdest, wackiest ads online, and examining why they are successful.
This video was what inspired this post – I was dying to share this ridiculously oddball ad.
This video ad is very clever, but also so convincing! It has you wonder how you’ve survived all these years without PooPourri. So, what makes this ad work? Why has it reached over 9 million views after only 2 weeks on YouTube? I have some ideas…
Another ad about being “fresh!” Coincidence? Maybe. However, the whole idea of having a cute British woman promoting something as menial as gum or lavatory potpourri is familiar, and perhaps that familiarity provides a small bit of comfort for what is, in some ways, a truly strange and foreign advert.
The presentation format of the Poopourri ad, featuring a spokesperson directly engaging with audiences, is also reminiscent of another popular funny ad that achieved momentous success on YouTube…
Why Do Folks Like the Dollar Shave Club Ad?
Both the Dollar Shave Club and PooPourri humorous advertisements come in succession to the Old Spice ads, which feature a nearly identical style. We could spend the whole post talking about the incredible Old Spice marketing campaign, but it’s already discussed quite a bit in our YouTube Advertising Guide. Also check out our in-depth post about how to make your own explainer video – videos like these can be really valuable pieces of content for your business.
To continue with our bathroom theme, here’s another odd but informative ad detailing the advantages of using a menstrual cup as opposed to tampons. I know, sorry dudes, but denial won’t protect you.
This funny video ad highlights that tingly sensation you get when you…
Do you have any wacky weird YouTube ads that stand out for you? Why do you think they work well as advertisements? Let us know in the comments!
Next let’s move on to funny PPC ads. And yes, they do exist!
There are two types of “funny PPC ads” – the ones that are funny because they are utterly disastrous, and those that earn a chuckle for their cleverness and ingenuity. The former are plentiful, while the latter are in short supply.
Don’t you just hate paying full price for children?
The ad above is funny, but for all the wrong reasons. This is just a plain old bad PPC ad. To check out more fail-worthy PPC advertisements, read our post about eBay’s truly terrible PPC ads.
What about the PPC ads that are genuinely funny? Traditionally there is little room for humor in PPC ads. Literally, there just isn’t the physical space – with only 130 characters (less than a tweet!), it’s hard to promote your product or offering while simultaneously showcasing your wit.
That’s not to say it’s impossible. Check out this PPC ad from the Braille Bookstore.
Here we’ve got a lot of winning elements that we already discussed, including:
The format of the PPC ad makes this humor even more impressive – it’s really rare to see a truly funny PPC ad, and it takes planning to deliver a punch line like that in a PPC ad. To top it all off, the ad is subtle enough that you have to wonder if the joke is even intentional…
This one is more creative than funny, but still worth calling out. Royal Pingdom claims that this ad had a 47% increase in CTR! Now that’s nothing to laugh at.
The site I found this World of Warcraft PPC ad on had this ad labeled as one of the “lamest PPC ads ever” but I thought it was actually pretty clever. Hey, know your audience, right?
Continuing with our funny theme, we’ve also got some funny image ads. Why are image ads so popular? Images grab attention more powerfully than text, and familiar brands don’t need a ton of space to explain their product – as the Dothraki would say, it is known.
The prevalence of online space and online content supplementing in-print ads means that some advertisers, even those that aren’t so well known, would rather use print space to capture attention with a powerful image. Then users can simply direct viewers to a information-heavy website via a suggested URL or QR code.
Here are some favorites borrowed from Buzzfeed.
Girls rule and boys drool
The mighty hunter.
Oh I get it. Wait, no I don’t. OK, now I do…
You do have to go right now.
You may notice that a lot of the image ads above are somewhat juvenile. Not to say that a video about poop belongs in the New Yorker, but there is a cleverness you don’t see represented in many of the above print ads.
Limited space means that advertisers are responsible for capturing the most intense emotion possible in the least amount of time. Often times the easiest way to do this is through humor, with laughs as unsophisticated as Helen Keller jokes. Not classy, not witty, but gosh darn-it, they do make us laugh.
I hope you enjoyed this brief examination of the funny ads of our time. Maybe some of these wacky ads inspired some funny, creative ideas of your own?
As always, if you have some insight to add, please comment! We’d love to hear your opinion on these unusual advertisements.
Megan Marrs is a veteran content marketer who harbors a love for writing, watercolors, oxford commas, and dogs of all shapes and sizes. When she’s not typing out blog posts or crafting killer social media campaigns, you can find her lounging in a hammock with an epic fantasy novel.
See other posts by Megan Marrs
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