Do serious subjects always need to be tackled so… seriously? After a year of sombre, piano-laden, Zoom-footage-infused advertising, we think not.
Our job in the Creative department is to win attention, not beat people over the head with their problems.
It’s the job of the creative to help people escape and to imagine something better. And sometimes, when the stars align, it’s done best using humour.
Take gambling addiction for example (eesh). A campaign that’s stood out for me in recent months is one by M&C Saatchi for charity GambleAware, entitled Tap Out to Avoid Bet Regret.
In a series of wickedly funny videos that combine the mundane and the bizarre, a pro wrestler clotheslines and bodyslams betters, encouraging them to tap out and stop chasing losses.
Men are seven and a half times more likely to fall into gambling addiction than any other gender, and worryingly, it’s estimated that over half aren’t getting the help they need.
Here, humour is used to diffuse a pretty serious issue. The charity knows their audience, and that the creative will be placed in a sea of betting ads during sports broadcasts.
They use an exaggerated depiction of masculinity to reinforce the ridiculousness of such a habit, and use clear calls to action to inspire inaction. Which is smart.
So maybe beating people over the head with their problems is fine, as long as it’s done by a professional? And with humour.
If you know your audience well, and you think that something lighter in tone will resonate when discussing more serious issues, by all means be sensitive, but be brave too. Be funny.
We’re all due a chuckle.