NEWS6 November 2023

Rise in humorous TV adverts, finds Kantar research

Media News UK

UK – The majority of television advertisements are using humour, upending a trend of more serious TV adverts in recent years, according to research from Kantar.

Couple watching TV

Kantar said that 56% of television adverts used humour in 2023, up from a low of 43% during the Covid-19 pandemic but still lower than the 66% seen in the early 2000s.

The findings are based on an online omnibus survey of 1,232 adults in Great Britain, with interviews carried out by online self-completion from 10th October to 12th October 2023.

The research found that 26% of people talk about Christmas ads with friends and family, while almost 20% of 16- to 44-year-olds discussed campaigns with work colleagues.

Lynne Deason, head of creative excellence at Kantar, said: “Getting an emotional reaction from people really is the holy grail for advertisers. Humour in particular not only helps ads stand out more, it also sparks conversations and makes them more memorable.

“Christmas ads are especially good at triggering an emotional response from us, but in recent years we’ve had a bit of a dip in laughter with many brands choosing to go down a sadder, more sentimental, and heartfelt route.

“Sadder storylines can be effective but when times are tough, like they are now for many people going through the cost-of-living crisis, all we really want for Christmas is something uplifting. People want entertaining advertising that makes them feel good.”