Use of Humor in Print Advertisements


When it comes to advertisement, designer and ad agencies possess a very small window to grab their audience’s attention. Being limited to a single image means your message must be very strong and attractive. With such restricted frame to communicate with audience, advertisers use humor as a way to achieve the purpose.

Everyone needs a bit of humor in their busy and hectic life. Advertisers try to make it easy for viewers to have a little moment of fun.When we think about humor in advertisement, our minds go straight to television ads but humor can also be used as an operational communication tool across a wide array of print media.

The printed format has always been a challenge for advertisers whether it is for newspaper and magazines or billboards. In this post we shall talk about how we can use humor in print advertisement with the help of special guidelines/tips and examples.

Related Content: Boundless Creativity: Outdoor Ads with Genius Ideas

Tips to Use Humor in Print Ads:

  1. The idea or message must be communicated promptly and simply. It should be good enough to grab viewer’s attention as well convey the information in an instant.
  2. The headline of your ad should have a power to stop viewers and compel them to take notice of it. You can also make it captivating by challenging a common belief of society.
  3. The purpose of humorous print ad is to put a funny idea but it must be wrapped in clever art direction and great visuals.
  4. You can make an ad humorous with a simple visual, one-liner joke that holds the intentional message of ad.
  5. Your ad should be a 50/50 combination of great imagery and comedy.
  6. Your ad must hold one element out of following two;

i)        Extremely funny. This kind is present abundantly, so is found commonly.

ii)      An element of cleverness and ingenuity resulting in a giggle. This is rare and found in short supply.

  1. You should be aware of the art of playing with words along with careful consideration of objectives of ad.
  2. You should Know Your Audience before putting the element of humor in your ad. Targeting the audience and market with right words can widen the receptiveness of ads.
  3. You can use humor in a way that enhance positive attitude in society carrying the information intended by ad.
  4. You should keep it in mind that humor does not draw the attention away from the actual message that the product is trying to convey.
  5. Your print ad should be simple and capable of easily understood by its viewers.
  6. Use of emotions as humor in your print ad can make it most effective.
  7. You should be very considerate while selecting a visual for your ad. A good visual carries the ability to surprise the audience as well entertain them.


Bose Noise Reduction Headphones

The idea is this ad is funny and clear in a provocative way. Bose noise reduction headphones are designed to set you free from day to day noise pollution. This ad noticeably brings out the message of the product in a humorous way that even if you’re at Niagara Falls, you will not be hearing any noise with these headphones.


Canal + iPhone

This is a good execution of humor in print advertisement. The big finger with funny interaction in movie symbolizes the purpose of app. The idea resembles the iPhone Soccer only that it is more clear and better.


Nikon Camera

This print ad is best example of use of humor, it clearly bring a smile and chuckle to viewer’s face. It is amusing and successfully conveys the message of product that is, the camera includes a powerful face detecting feature.


Ephone v900

A mobile phone with fast internet access anytime and everywhere. The message in this ad is brilliantly thought of and evidently delivers the concept of product in a funny way.


Al Ain Desert Wildlife Park

This ad about a zoo is conveying two messages at the same time. Use of a sleeping eye mask displays the message that is “zoo is open till midnight” as well it shows the comfort of animals in zoo. A leopard using eye mask is kind of hilarious.



The concept of a beer that also makes you strong is magnificently exhibited via this print ad. Breaking karate tiles with just a flick is quite hilarious. The photography in this advertisement is wonderfully detailed and nicely done.


Burger King

This is another great example of humorous print ads. The intended message in this ad is to tell people that burger king makes real big burgers. The image clearly expresses this by two bandages on both sides of lips which is really funny.



This ad is amusing in a comparative way. The concept of Pepsi being better than others is presented with the help of a straw that goes joyfully in Pepsi but avoid other sodas. The visual is amazing and simple carrying the element of humor.


Ninseikan: Karate School

A karate school’s ad cannot be offered more precisely in humorous way. A sleeping kid hitting his father is kind of funny and totally delivers the message to its viewers.



This is an eye-catching and funny ad of a toothbrush. The purpose is to show the flexibility of toothbrush which is presented in a hilarious way. You cannot help but notice the peculiarity of image. It is indeed a good example of simple, witty and eye-catching advertisement.


McDonald’s Milkshake

This ad presents a nice and original concept for McDonald’s milkshake. A cow shaking on trampoline is quite hilarious. The grass and ay time depicts the freshness and originality of product.


Seiko: Wake up

This is another brilliant example of humorous print ad. The effectiveness of alarm clock is displayed in a wonderful way by showing that this alarm clock will wake you so fast as if your fingers stuck in mouse trap.



Use of humor as a creative strategy can increase the rate of audience’s attention. You can use any of the above ideas to create a persuasive communication through your ad. Get inspiration from these examples and guidelines to make an effective humorous print ad.

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