DREAMENTIA: (dree-men-shuh): n 1. the development, growth or awakening of creative awareness in the brain caused by the severe impairment or loss of one’s in-the-box thinking and conventional cerebral functions.


JAMECA ON TENACITY: “The exploration of the unknown brings with it a sense of accomplishment. Never back down from a challenge. That’s my motto.”


DANII ON MEH: ”…” Its blank becuse she still hasn’t provided anything, even after 6 months of waiting. Nothing like a little public shaming to get results ;-)


CRYSTAL ON CONTENT: “Everyone loves a good story. The parent, fundraiser, attorney, marketer or brand that can tell the most convincing, interesting and salient stories will always win.


DREAMENTIA INTERNS ON THEIR THOUGHTS & DREAMS: They come, they go, yet they provide oodles of insight into our business, our company, and our idiosyncrasies.


JIM ON WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT: ”It’s about digging in, learning, and earning the trust of those who bestow upon us the privilege and honor of opening their brands’ doors and allowing us inside to help.”

Girl Power Goes Public »

Self Effacing Humor in Advertising.

As a 20-something millennial, I can tell you that I’m probably going to analyze the growth pattern of my nails while I fast forward through your commercials and manically flip past your magazine ads.

It amazes me how much time people spend trying to figure out what I’m buying (which is very little) and what my Internet habits are, when I could just tell you.

Most would argue that it started with the extremely catchy ad campaign for the VW bug in the 1960s (See image at left) and I would go as far as to say that self effacing humor as a means for selling your product is only going to increase in effectiveness, because apparently it’s the only thing I trust.

One of the best examples comes from Microsoft’s 2012 campaign that read “The browser you love[d] to hate”.

 HA! It’s great! It’s catchy! But most importantly it makes fun of itself, innately creating a bond between Microsoft and me. I don’t even own a Microsoft computer and I haven’t used Internet explorer since 2006, and although I may not know it, I trust Microsoft.

In a study about language it was found that “speakers often self-deprecate in order to be on the same interactional plane, to be in equilibrium with each other”, so in other words, thanks for coming down to my level Microsoft.

This is how the phenomenon works: Microsoft’s ability to poke fun at itself makes them vulnerable, giving me the upper hand in the situation and in turn creates trust. So yeah, I’m not using IE9 or running out and buying a Microsoft computer, but at the very least it got people under the age of 46 talking about them again.

Let’s take it even further and analyze why you want to use self-effacing humor to target the ever elusive millennial.

Although it isn’t an ad, an example that cannot be ignored is Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. Yes, The Daily Show is a satire but the amount of people who consume, and trust Jon Stewart is amazing. It was found in 2009 that “56% of young people get their news from [Jon Stewart]”. That’s a lot. BUT WHY?? So some guys at Springer Science did this study and they figured out that “humor in general has persuasive power”.

It’s probably the reason why Tina Fey sells Garnier Fructis hair color, Bill Cosby sold Jello, and Ellen Degeneres sells makeup.

I don’t know about you, but when I think about pretty hair color, I don’t think about Tina Fey (sorry Tina), but there’s a reason they endorse - we trust them.

“It’s been shown that when an information source frequently defames its own credibility in a humorous style, it ironically gains credibility among viewers, thus increasing its persuasive power.”

If you put these pieces together you might have figured out that what the majority of young people want to consume is humor and humor makes us trust you.

So next time you’re trying to sell the millennial on your product, just tell us a knock-knock joke or something, we seem to trust that.



Sources: [1] Morris, Jonathan. “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Audience Attitude Change During the 2004 Party Conventions.” Http://electra.lmu.edu/. Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008, 06 May 2008. Web. 21 Aug. 2014; [2] Kim, Myung H. “William H. Hannon Library Proxy Server Authentication.”William H. Hannon Library Proxy Server Authentication. Journal of Pragmatics, 0 Aug. 2014. Web. 20 Aug. 2014.

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