Is laughter the best marketing? Why this is the wrong question

Sydni Fomas Do, Caleb Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Humor is often described as a miracle pill for marketers, yet the effects of humor on advertising, content marketing, service, and other marketing functions are wildly inconsistent. Before scholars can know whether a pun, prank, meme, or laugh will attract sales, clicks, or five-star reviews, they need to understand why the effects of humor appear to vary. Humor has different effects because scholars have treated humor as different constructs while studying how it influences different marketing outcomes with different types of stimuli in different of situations on different types of people. Only by recognizing these differences can scholars begin to understand when, why, and how humor can benefit marketers. To navigate this complexity, researchers need to develop a theory of humor that can help explain how different attempts to be humorous influence different consumers in different situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101694
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Advertising
  • Consumer behavior
  • Humor
  • Laughter
  • Marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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