Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The use of Humor in Signage

The American humorist Mary Hirsch once said, “Humor is a rubber sword. It helps you make a point without drawing blood”. In an increasingly stressed world, humor brings fresh perspectives, makes interesting observations, breaks long-established stereotypes, and helps lighten the mood in a social gathering. The huge popularity of stand-up comedians, comedy talk shows, and TV channels dedicated to comedy, is ample proof that people are seeking more and more humor in their daily lives.

Using humor in signage

Signage is one of the most important, yet a highly undervalued aspect of marketing and advertising. Though signage requires neither much real estate nor expenditure, advertisers have often downplayed its role in advertising. Another reason is the increased use of online advertising, and the proliferation of businesses that can bring to your front door everything from a pizza to a car.

Yet, signage is very significant as it is the first and foremost aspect of a business that you notice, even if you don’t step in to transact any business. Aesthetically designed signage can in fact attract people from afar, a point of advantage well exploited by rooftop and rotary neon signboards.

Humor can add an extra zing to signage, as it creates an instant connect with the audience. A touch of humor creates differentiation and improves brand recall: a funny logo, or a funny tagline below the company name, is bound to be recognized and talked about by consumers repeatedly.

Industries best suited for humor in signage

However, not all businesses are equally suited for using humor in signage. The inherent nature of some businesses makes them too complex, too intricate, or too serious to use humor in their signage. Accordingly, some businesses are more suited than others are.

Retail: In the deluge of brands, and unimaginative advertising of the vast majority of retail businesses, the few standout companies exploit humor as the cutting edge marketing tool.

Travel, Tourism and Hospitality: This segment can afford the comfort of a generous budget, and so can experiment with humor, as it targets huge revenue from international tourists.

Marketing & Advertising: Marketing and Advertising Agencies help improve the image of several businesses; they can use humor imaginatively to improve their own business.

Transportation & Logistics: Given the tense nature of the activity of this business, the use of humorous signage, can make things easier for everyone involved.

Clothes, Footwear and Personal Accessories: In the luxury segment of this sector, consumers show a taste for the finest things of life, and so can appreciate humor better.

Food, Confectionery and Beverages: Here again, in the face of tough competition, innovative entrepreneurs can make significant headway with the tool of humor in their ad campaigns including signage.

Construction, Architecture & Decor: This is also high budget sector, where humor is well appreciated.

Service businesses in general: A service company can project a sophisticated image of its services;  it can succeed in marching ahead of the pack by using humor in its promotional activities including signage.

Humor in signage is a great marketing strategy, no doubt; however, beware! It can be a double-edged sword: get it wrong, or belabor it, you are very likely to dismay your prospective and existing customers. It’s important, therefore, to engage a professional signage agency who have the expertise and experience for creating funny, effective and engaging signage for your business.