Please make us feel something, brands.
Literally anything, and preferably humor.
TL/DR; brands should use humor to engage with consumers according to a new report, including email headlines. in a quick effort of primary research, cailey found 0 humorous email headlines.

At first, the headline of this article intrigued me….
“Consumers are looking for humor but brands aren’t delivering, survey says”
but what brought me here, to this blog, that you are reading, is the description and subsequent irony of reading it….
“Nearly half of consumers haven’t felt true happiness in two years….”
and I audibly laughed. Because, same, obviously. Then I clicked on the article. So I can confirm, humor works – at least self-deprecating humor.
(the full description is “Nearly half of consumers haven’t felt true happiness in two years and many are looking to brands to deliver joy through ads and experiences, Oracle found” )

The article covers (data) findings from “The Happiness Report” that show brands shying away, knowingly, from conveying humor in consumer facing messages though the data shows consumers seeking out humor (and positivity), especially after the impacts of the pandemic.

Why avoid humor? Some leadership may think it seems ‘juvenile’ or that humor would impact perceived trustworthiness, but this might be another case of the generational curve with marketing and brands.

It should not surprise anyone that Millennial and Gen Z consumers tend to seek out and prefer brands that align with their lifestyle or values, and are more likely to “put their money where their mouth is” than older generations. We see the brands we use as an extension of ourselves in a way.
And obviously, we think we’re funny.
Even if we’re not, you’re not (speak for yourself), we often look to brands to provide us with a reason to support them. In the bigger picture, that can be their corporate social responsibility efforts or political backing, but day to day can show up in their (online) ads, content, and other touchpoints. According to the report (and general marketing practice), missing those day to day touchpoints can add up to a big missed opportunity in keeping consumers.
69% of “The Happiness Report” respondents said that they’d be more compelled to open an email if it had a funny subject line, but only 24% of company leadership reported using humor (in email marketing). * Takes with grain of salt for many reasons *
You can be a certified B corp AND be funny, sweetie. I promise.

Anywho, all of that insight lead me to my inbox, where I scanned the folder for something funny to prove a point. Any point mentioned really – would I click on a funny headline? Do I want to support the brands who use humor more often?

If only I was given so many choices. This (below) sample of emails didn’t bring me much humor, joy, anything. Maybe another day is different? Disappointed but not surprised, data considered.

I’ll be looking over my email headlines with a little more scrutiny the next few days to see who comes through with the humor (I’m begging, thx). Overall, interesting new data to consider as you execute your messaging or strategy – does humor fit somewhere in your brand?

Posted by:caileyaubrey

Tampa based cat mom that gets excited about breakfast, gift cards and new shoes. A firm believer that budget doesn't limit your closet, only your wallet. The type of girl to wear all black but take notes in pink ink. On the pursuit of a life that I can look back on with a smile (& style).

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