Tom Fishburne, aka the Marketoonist, on the effectiveness of humour

Humour in marketing can be a tricky balancing act, but get it right and you can create some truly successful and memorable campaigns, says Tom Fishburne.

Better known as the Marketoonist, Tom Fishburne has been providing Marketing Week with his gently incisive cartoons for the best part of two decades.

Talking from his home near San Francisco, Fishburne explained why he believes humour in marketing is so important, particularly in times of uncertainty.

“There’s a missed opportunity and what is missing most of all is humour,” he said, talking at the Festival of Marketing. “Humour can be an act of empathy.”

People don’t really need to be constantly reminded that times are tough, nor do they want yet another ad churning out the same old lines about ‘navigating the new normal’.

Laughter is a shared emotional expression, it’s a connection. Fishburne shares his thoughts on different forms of humour and gives examples of brands that have got the balance just right, including Coors Light and Ikea.



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