This week I discovered the new RSPCA NSW campaign for cats. It is called “Cat Ballads, Music to Improve the Life of Cats” and I found it funny and engaging. Not only is there an album and videos of singing cats highlighting responsible cat care, there is also a track and video created with scientists designed to calm cats and kittens in shelter environments, who may be generally stressed or left at home during the day. Goodbye Grumpy Cats!

This started me thinking about using humour in advertising.

Many memorable ad campaigns tend to be funny. Audiences like to be entertained, but not pitched to and people will pay more attention to a humorous commercial than a factual or serious one, opening themselves up to be influenced.

The key to funny advertising is assuring the humor is appropriate to both product and customer. The balance between funny and obnoxious can be delicate; and a marketer must be certain the positive effects outweigh the negative before launching a campaign. The best products to sell using humor tend to be those that consumers have to think the least about. Products that are relatively inexpensive, and often consumable, can be represented without providing a lot of facts, and that’s where there’s room for humor.

It is also worthwhile considering that different things are funny to different people. A commercial that leaves one person in stitches may not be as hilarious to someone else. The target market must always be considered. It is interesting to note that humor in advertising tends to improve brand recognition, but does not improve product recall, message credibility, or buying intentions. Variety is key, once a commercial starts to wear thin there’s no saving it without some variation on the concept.

Mark Levit of Partners & Levit Advertising writes “Humorous campaigns are often expensive because they have to be constantly changed. Advertisers must remember that while making the customer laugh, they have to keep things interesting, because old jokes die along with their products.” I wonder, as the world speeds up and digital advertising evolves, will this continue to be an issue?

If you want to check out the Cat Ballads Album, click here

You can also donate while you are there.


What’s New in Digital Marketing in 2017

2017 brings with it a wealth of new possibilities for digital marketing professionals throughout the world. Between developments in mobile technology, virtual reality, and graphics development, it is becoming rapidly clear that a fresh take is needed to help marketing teams best reach their target audiences. We have identified some exciting changes that both present new opportunities and challenges for marketing departments and agencies worldwide.

The Continued Rise of Content Marketing

As web searching tools grow in complexity and capability, the focus for content developers and marketers has shifted from a pure keyword based optimisation strategy to a focus on fresh and high quality content. The emphasis is now on the creator to make certain that the information contained not only is indexed readily, but is cross-linked with similarly informative pieces on other high-ranking sites.

When tied in with social networking, it is possible to leverage multiple indexing and ranking services to rapidly reach a large audience in a targeted demographic or geographic zone. For instance, an article shared throughout Facebook, as long as its content is truly informative and accurate, will rank higher in users’ feeds than general posts.

Ad Blocking Technology Will Become a Default Feature

Google Chrome is rumored to be developing a standardised ad blocker for its web browser that will automatically banish the most blatant and irritating advertisements. There are many reasons for this, ranging from improved security to user preferences and general performance, though the main reason may very well involve advertising revenue.

One of the greatest challenges digital marketers have faced over the last three years is the rise of third-party ad blocking tools that have made it an exceptional challenge to monetize web content provided on the open net. Even with “white lists” enabling nonintrusive advertising the potential for revenue generation has dropped significantly. Google is trying to counteract this by implementing a tool that only removes the worst offenders while providing a framework for modern accepted advertisements Social Media Marketing

Web development is a continuous process that destroys as often as it creates. In the span of less than 20 years we’ve seen the rise and falls of titans like MySpace and GeoCities, along with the awe-inspiring rise of current time usage champions Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Since the users are the product for these services, marketing developers have to follow the platform’s rules in order to even have a chance at success. (mention content is owned by the platforms and not the businesses/brands?)

The middle result, the first being blatant ads that turned off viewers, was the creation of multiple advertising platforms with their own development guidelines and tools. This led to the rise of platform specific platform advertising specialists and a cottage industry in helping end users avoid those ads.

Now, in 2017, a new paradigm is beginning to emerge. The largest platforms are implementing a combination of content-and-popularity aware automated ranking with promotions to enable businesses to leverage social marketing alongside now-traditional PPC advertisements. With the emphasis being placed on connectivity and quality content, it is rapidly growing easier to develop engaging content that leverages the strengths of every platform (i.e. short shareable missives for Twitter, longer articles for Facebook and LinkedIn, and infographics for Instagram.)

What Are Your Thoughts?

The shifting marketing industry has lead to many theories about where it is headed in the future. Do you believe that the shift to open standards, greater connectivity, and a focus on content will be the true guiding posts for marketers in 2017 and beyond?


We’re a boutique Sydney promotional marketing and creative agency trusted by some of Australia’s biggest brands. We’re 100% passionate about what we do, and that passion shows through in the quality of our work. Give Ingrid Ambrosius a call if you'd like to know more about The Marketing Syndicate and our services.