Nafsin 1

Nafsin, Nehla
Mr. Eisner
AP English Language
December 12, 2015
The Usage of Humour in Advertisements
When a product is marketed, much of the advertisement occurs away from where the
actual product is being sold. Because of this, advertisers must design their advertisements in a
way that catches the attention of the audience and remains in their memory. Pathos is a common
appeal that can be found in many advertisements, and humour is how many companies make
their mark on their audience. When something is funny, it registers positively within people and
lightens their mood. More importantly, because they find it funny, they are more likely to
remember it and they are also more inclined to share it with their friends and family like a joke
they might have heard. However, the witty aspect of an advertisement can often mask subliminal
hints that it may have.
In the McDonald’s milkshake advertisement, a cow stands on a trampoline in a plain field
with grass and trees in the background. On the bottom left corner is the McDonald’s logo and
their slogan, “I’m lovin’ it”. The text beside it says “The Real Milkshake.” This play on words is
humourous because the word “milkshake” is taken and presented it literally. The visual of the
cow and the trampoline appeal to younger children who might not understand the the textual
element of the ad, and the text itself appeals to teenagers and adults who drink milkshakes. The
image of a cow on a trampoline is rather surreal, and the silly nature of this advertisement incites
a happy and positive emotion in the audience. While on the surface this ad simply wants you to
buy a milkshake, there are certain implications that are not obvious. Cattle is often raised in

The next time they see that store. the text reads. Although it is not directly implying this. or American Eagle Outfitters for those who are familiar with the brand initials and logo. However. jeans and a beanie. seeing the cow in such an environment might cause the audience to unconsciously assume that the cows that go into their food is raised in such a place when that is hardly the case. Using “yule” as a pun for “you’ll” causes a humorous effect. possibly in her early twenties. She is young. and the sale is what they remember. “25-60% off” along with “the AEO holiday collection” and “select styles. but it also puts them in a more festive mood. which makes it seasonally appropriate since “yule” is a direct reference to Christmas. . The out-of-focus backdrop is of a forest with what seems to be pine trees. It not only does it put the audience in a happier mood. Even though they write “select styles. it is the “25-64% off” that might cause people to purposefully seek out the store. consists of a girl. Prices as marked”. the text says. This allows the audience pool to contain people other than just those who celebrate Christmas. On the right. they will be more likely to go in. even though the girl in the picture is wearing red. The pun once again helps catch people’s attention to the advertisement and makes a place in their memory. Below that. “Yule Love This” followed by the what is presumably the brand logo– an eagle.Nafsin 2 highly mechanical farms where they are fed and slaughtered in a way that is far from natural. The field and the grass in the picture looks like the kind of place where a free-range cow might graze. The sale is what they notice. it cannot be said that they are specifically Christmas clothes as what she is wearing is rather generic. it does not affect the audience greatly because the size of the font is relatively smaller than the rest of the text. However. This advertisement was put up right around early December. In the AEO advertisement. Prices as marked”. The red from the girl’s sweater and the green from the backdrop also make it very seasonal. and is dressed in a red sweater.

Similarly. it is also used by people to get closer to their idols and other icons the like. when people like a particular company’s sense of humour. The commercial starts with the celebrity Kim Kardashian introducing herself and then explaining how data is wasted every year. which creates a bias in them that makes them consider buying the plan that was advertised. This contrast creates a satirical effect that subtly criticises people who are overly infatuated with famous people. When a person likes another person’s sense of humour. However. As Brown puts it. this advertisement is still appealing because they as soon as they see her. Throughout the commercial. they develop a bias towards that company and it might make them have a weak spot for their products. “If Gucci says. On the other hand.Nafsin 3 The T-Mobile advertisement displays a sense of humour different from the McDonald’s and the American Eagle Outfitters ads. They find it funny. They appreciate the humour. Kardashian being there implies that she endorses the product. which is gives a feeling of amusement to people who think dislike the general masses’ obsession with Kim Kardashian. they pay attention.’ it has to be. While it is used to express individualism. she maintains a very grave tone even though the things she says are not even remotely serious. Even if they are aware that the ad is sarcastic. It attracts the audience’s attention. She then lists examples of how that data could have been used to see pictures of her and asks the audience to keep their data. for those who do like her. they develop a bias towards them. which might make her fans purchase the plan so they can be more like her. ‘It’s hot. humour has a greater role. People are inclined to buy things because “buying is an essential expression of freedom and individualism” (Kulman 112). which makes them remember it. they will still be inclined to remember it. When an ad is . and it ends with a the T-Mobile logo and name. A text screen follows informing the audience about the DataStash plan. which is practically half of the job of an advertisement. right?” (122) But it is not only limited to icons.

Nafsin 4 funny. but the part humour plays in each is essentially the same. the audience remembers it. . Humour’s job is to simply get the audience to look. The subliminal clues take care of the rest. and the next time they come across the advertised product they are more disposed to buy it. All the little details that go into each advertisement are unique to each one.

12 Dec. "Materialism: Our Consuming Interest" Ed. "Why Do We Buy? Is It Branding or Brainwashing?" Ed. . 2004. Web. 12 Dec. American Eagle Outfitters. 121-125. T-Mobile. Luke. Medford: The Tufts Daily. 1 Feb. Print. The Inspiration Room. Web. 2015. 14 July 2012. Yule Love This. 2015. Linda.S. NBC. Twitter. U. Digital image. 2014. Kulman. 2004. Television. Print. News & World Report.Nafsin 5 Works Cited Brown. Digital image. The Real Milkshake. Los Angeles. 2015. California. McDonald's Real Milkshake Cows. 110-114. 10 Dec.

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