The importance of being funny
There are numerous studies saying that imagery can affect a person's mood, for good or bad. In marketing, happy is always better than sad, so it is always important to make your clients happy. Your design stands more chances of being remembered if it strikes the happy chord with the audience than anything else. Long story short, happiness sells!
Being happy is related to all sorts of feelings and instances but the commonest must be laughter. Unless you're dealing with a grumpy grump, making people laugh or smile is not really that difficult. Besides, laughter is contagious, or should I say, viral?
If you hear a very good joke, you'll definitely tell it to others, even if you're not into telling jokes. Social media and young audiences are perfect channels for getting out of the serious box and using funny stock images.
Funny stock photos may leave less room for edits, re-interpretations, crops and even concept appropriation than regular images. They're sometimes exemplified as no-no's in image using but there are many instances where using funny images will do wonders. Memes anyone? You can't do a meme without a funny image. As you know, images are crucial in social media promotion and we all know that amusing stuff gets plenty of shares, likes and buzz. A well-chosen funny image can make you stand out, and in a good way.
Note: Funny here does not mean weird, freaky or creepy.
If you've decided to shoot or use funny stock concepts, you can go many ways. You can shoot the authentic, you can play upon exaggerations, you can focus on making the best out of the worst, you can bring out the ridiculous.Fun and funny marketing wasn't born yesterday, it's been employed for decades now. And it's working, ha ha.
So, a funny shot often calls for authenticity: funny animal expressions, funny children's faces when jumping around, the yuk you get from tasting something sour or bad, all captured unaware. The more real-life the shot, the more smiles and smirks. And shares. If you're walking this road, then avoid over dressed pets, unnatural poses and anything that may look dangerous for children.
Some of the most successful ads and campaigns are the ones that play on the hilarious, the ridiculous, the absurdity of a situation. You get plenty of these images in stock. Exaggerated gasps, yells, pouts, completely nonathletic guys flexing muscles, ecstatic pets dragging their humans, graphic coffee punches, diet conflicts are just a few examples of what would work for a funny approach. If you're building your campaign on exaggerations, ridiculous or absurd situations, then my advice is to always rely on common sense. From my experience, there will always be some people offended but common sense will tell you when too much is too much and when a little fun is allowed.
As final word of advice, remember that funny is also subjective so whatever you shoot or choose to use as funny concept, you should not offend, scare or disgust people. And make sure the type of humor you're getting from the image matches your brand somehow. By the end of the joke you're telling your audience, the visual, the message and the brand should be the perfect trio.
Check out my funny stock collection.