I was inspired to write this column by a recent post from a Spanish company that I saw on LinkedIn and that invited people to celebrate the International Day of Happiness. The following is found on the United Nations website: “The UN General Assembly decreed in resolution 66/281 of 2012 that the International Day of Happiness be celebrated on March 20 to recognize the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal aspirations of human beings and the importance of their inclusion in government policies. The resolution also recognizes the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth, which promotes sustainable development, the eradication of poverty, happiness and well-being of all peoples”. This is very interesting because we are beginning to understand the important role that humor and joy play in beauty.
We are going through one of the most difficult moments in recent decades: post-pandemic, war, inflation, stress … The World Health Organization indicates on its website that depression is a common disease throughout the world, as it is estimated that it affects a 3.8% of the population, including 5% of adults and 5.7% of people over 60 years of age. Worldwide, approximately 280 million people have depression.
This situation is leading us to discover that humor has two great opportunities for innovation in cosmetics: at biochemical and marketing level.
Laughing is very healthy. Understanding the biochemical effects of laughter should be one of the next goals of cosmetic science. Doctors and scientific reports have said it many times: laughter not only improves our mental state, but also has physical benefits for our health. When we laugh, we release certain biochemicals substances, such as endorphins, dopamine, and adrenaline, which put us in a positive mood. In turn, laughter decreases cortisol levels, the “stress hormone” thereby reducing anxiety. Humor is one of the most powerful emotions out there. When someone or something amuses us, it is easier for us to like that person or company and, above all, to remember it. For these reasons, without a doubt, humor has a powerful anti-aging effect.
On the other hand, in a 2022 publication on the puromarketing.com portal, it is indicated that sad people buy more, because the mood changes consumption patterns. When confidence indices fall, purchases of basic products rise. In tough times, consumers feel they deserve a treat, a little indulgence. This is a market driver that has driven cosmetic trends such as beauty snacking.
On the same portal, in a publication from January 2023, it is indicated that this year can be considered one of fatigue and decay. Therefore, many consumers are going to face the following months with some pessimism and brands should take this into account. Consumers will look for moments for themselves that provide an escape from the pressure generated by the context in which they live.
In marketing, humor is defined as the way of presenting, judging or commenting on reality, giving importance to the comic or joyful side of things. In fact, it is a necessary social act in relationships, since, through laughter, the creation of bonds is promoted.
In another publication also from said portal, it is indicated that humor can make ads and campaigns much more memorable. You just must think about which campaigns are remembered from many years ago to find out how those with a humorous touch have a prominent presence in our memory. It is important that companies do a proper design to be successful, analyzing segmentation, niches and positioning. The publication mentions something that is very interesting and that is that humor also has segments, since it has a gender (men prefer aggressive humor and women value the production of the message) and it also has age (adults appreciate humor more). Companies must project how the message will impact the brand identity in the future. Too much humor can be counterproductive and too little humor can be confusing.
Humor then begins to be increasingly important in advertising and branding. In March 2023, the XIII edition of the Smile Festival 2023: International Festival of Advertising and Humor was held in Spain. This gala rewards the best campaigns, pieces, agencies and professionals in the sector.
Humor in the marketing strategy will make you fondly remembered. If you use humor in your strategy, people will remember you as a means they once used to improve their day. In addition, they will not remember you for boring content, but for an ingenious and innovative one.
Flourishing brands: This is an interesting concept that is starting to become a trend. The so-called flourishing (flowering) refers to a reorientation of people to seek emotional and mental well-being. In a March 2023 publication on the marketingdirecto.com portal, it is indicated that “we are entering the era of flourishing, in which we want to live a good life physically, mentally, and emotionally. After conducting a survey of 800 people, focus groups with consumers and the analysis of more than 50 previous reports, it is concluded that we are increasingly aware of our individual identity, without neglecting our belonging to a community”. This trend is allowing the development of a new communication and brand purpose in the new era of emotional well-being.
Storytelling of humor: You must create a story that has an approach, middle and end. The type of humor that companies must use will be conditioned by the objective profile of their clients. It’s important to note that it’s not about making people laugh at you or your business, it’s about making them laugh with you. On the other hand, social networks have taught us that video is the king of humor in marketing. Humor also helps companies that are developing viral marketing strategies. People not only remember the things they find funny, but also tend to share them with other people.
If you can make your marketing campaign make people laugh, you will have a better chance of multiplying your reach. Memes are also important as they are the new language of the internet, they are easy to implement and extremely cheap, and people love to share them.
Humor generates positive emotions around your brand and also helps release endogenous chemicals that produce well-being. For this reason, we are going to see in coming months new marketing strategies and biochemical mechanisms under the humor-like concept. Laughter is contagious and the cosmetics industry is innovating impressively to bring wellness to everyone.
Senior Exploration ScientistatBelcorp Colombia
John Jiménez is currently Senior Researcher at Belcorp Colombia. He is a Pharmacist (National University of Colombia) with a Master degree in Sustainable Development (EOI Business School, Madrid) and specialization studies in Marketing, Cosmetic Science and Neuromarketing. John has 28 publications in scientific journals and a book chapter in cosmetic formulation.
Maison G de Navarre Prize (IFSCC 2004), Henry Maso Award (IFSCC 2016) and best scientific papers at Colamiqc Ecuador 2009, Colamiqc Brazil 2013 and Farmacosmética Colombia 2014. He has been a speaker at various international conferences in Europe and Latin America and was President of Accytec Bogotá from 2017–2019.
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