The Basics

Advertisement Do’s and Don’ts:

In advertising there are many factors to consider before putting out your final result. Keeping a creative and unique perspective while keeping in mind the cons of being offensive and the pros of using humor are simple steps that greatly benefit your business. Here’s a short list to help you with your advertising needs.

Do’s:

Let’s start out with the DO’S. Audiences love advertisements with humor. Not only does making your audience laugh boost their serotonin, it grabs the audience’s attention and makes a lasting impression. A study from Northwestern University’s annual Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review showed that  53% of people


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preferred a humor band over all other commercials. Another study from 1993 Journal of Marketing study that examined multinational effects of humor on advertising (a study that still stands true), the major conclusion was that ‘humor is more likely to enhance recall, evaluation, and purchase intention when the humorous message coincides with ad objectives. Another struggle for small businesses is reach. Getting your name out there is key to having a successful business. So when you’re creating a post or video you want to make it “share worthy”. To qualify as “shareworthy” the post or ad you make has to be at a point that your customers find it so amusing or sentimental that they want to repost it or share it with their friends who will share it with their friends and so on. Although, be sure not to create an offensive “shareworthy” ad because this could lead to bad rep and loss of business. The iconic “Hungry Betty White” snickers commercial, increased sales for the company by $376 million in two years. Snickers created a commercial so funny and memorable that even people who didn’t watch the super bowl still heard about this commercial. Snickers related to their audience in a funny, light-hearted way creating a perfect path for their business to succeed.

Don’ts:

When it comes to the don’ts of advertising it applies to all businesses. It even applies to large companies such as Pepsi. Everyone knows the famous Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial and many more know the backlash not only the company but Kendall received. What Pepsi did that caused the commercial to flop is they hijacked a trend. This means Pepsi tried taking part in a very raw and sensitive subject and suggested a can of soda could fix racial and social injustices. The world saw did not take to this commercial and YouGov says, “It took nine months for Pepsi’s perception to fully recover with millennials from the ad’s backlash, which stemmed from making light of the Black Lives Matter movement.”


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Many small business owners don’t have nine months to recover  like large corporations such as Pepsi which is why it is key to not partake in sensitive trends to


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self promote. Although, hoping on other viral trends, such as fun dances or funny videos are great to take part in because it has a high chance of going viral when it is trending which is free promotion for your business. Another big don’t is creating insensitive or offensive ads. In 2009 PETA released a billboard ad with the caption “Lose the blubber, Go vegetarian” with an illustration of a plus sized woman in the background. Not only did they manage to body shame women, but they also compared plus sized people to whales. The response they received was horrendous.

  • Mir Kamin at BlogHer wrote: The fat phobia and degradation apparent in this campaign makes me sick.

  • Dabitch at Adland says: PETA, you have finally done it. You have made me change my mind about something. Congratulations. However, it won’t be to your liking. I’m going out right now get some Kobe Steak for dinner wearing my endangered species ocelot fur coat and if any one of your mink-releasing vegan followers dares to as much as sneer in my direction I’m making a hat out of their bony ass.

  • Soap Box of a Very Liberal Woman comments: I wish I knew the brilliant person in marketing who came up with this. Shock value, yes. Effectiveness, not so much. Will it make fat people vegetarians, probably not.

The list goes on of people who found the ad “uneffective” and offensive. Being courteous to your audiences and keeping an objective standpoint when it comes to advertisement will benefit your business in the long run.