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Are These Playful Ads Working?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Humor is one of the most used elements in advertising. In many cases, it is hard to create a funny ad; you don't want to end up offending the audience you're targeting, but you desire to drive home a point. Coming off too slapstick could prove to be insulting your audience, and going too subtle or satirical may leave your audience wondering what message you were trying to send.

But recently, advertisers have been going for the blatantly over-the-top ads. And we were wondering — is it working?

It's hard to say. The campaign that put this outrageous advertising on the map was W+K's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign for Old Spice. As we all know, the ad featured a caricature of the hyper-masculine male, telling the world that if men tried really hard, they could end up like him. The ads were playful, and they spread around the interwebs like fire. Interestingly enough, after the first stint of those ads ended, and writers went to Old Spice asking how the ads affected revenue, the brand initially declined to comment (we say initially because we haven't seen if Old Spice went back and released data).

Now, another player, also in the men's grooming and hygiene sector, is playing the outrageous card. Meet DollarShaveClub.

DollarShaveClub is an online store where men can join for a dollar and get shaving razors and blades shipped directly to their homes. The company has been gaining a lot of steam lately, and has spent some ad money during the World Cup. Take a look at the company's very first ad, which has been online for about two years and is now hitting some TV screens.

Perhaps when it comes to men's grooming, going goofy is the way to go. It will be interesting to see whether this kind of advertising is not only catchy enough to get eyeballs to the site, but if those eyeballs could also turn into dollars.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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