Don’t get me wrong. I like a good joke as much as the next person. In fact, some of the most inspirational speeches I’ve ever heard have started with a good joke. However, just as a great speech can motivate you into action, a great commercial should do the same. You certainly can use humor to send a compelling message, but too many marketers have sacrificed a memorable message for a memorable joke.
Just try this simple test Super Bowl Sunday: after each commercial break, while you and your friends are still laughing about the cute little animals and crazy people stunts, see if you can name the sponsor of each commercial you just watched. It’s not so easy. The greatest stage for our industry has become an endless competition of one-liners. Sure, the ads are entertaining, but do they motivate people to take action? Ask nearly anyone what the greatest Super Bowl ad of all-time is and chances are they will say Apple’s introduction of the Macintosh. Remember that ad? Nothing funny about it. But as a marketer, it made me smile.