Aha over Haha: Brands benefit more from being clever than from being funny


We examine whether the cleverness of a brand’s humor attempt affects consumers’brand attitudes and engagement. A clever humor attempt is any humor attemptwherein the consumer feels she must make mental connections to solve the joke(e.g., understand a cultural reference, understand the dual meaning of a pun).Across five studies, we demonstrate that as the cleverness of a humor attemptincreases, consumers report higher brand attitudes and are more engaged with thebrand. This effect is mediated by perceptions of brand warmth and competenceand moderated by consumers’ need for cognition.

Journal of Consumer Psychology, 33(1), 107-114
Rodrigo S. Dias
Rodrigo S. Dias
PhD Candidate