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Humor effect

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The humor effect is a psychological phenomenon that discusses how we get attached to what we sense as humorous and then tend to remember such information. According to human psychology, humor can shake the human mind. For example, when a student is in a lecture, if he is taught the concept using a funny story, the probability of remembering that concept is higher than when he was taught that in a non-humorous way.

Table of contents:
  1. Why is Humor important?
  2. Humor effect and digital marketing
  3. Types of humor designers can use in digital design
    1. Personification
    2. Comparison with exaggeration
    3. Humor and Surprise
  4. Where exactly to include humor in your website?
    1. The landing page
    2. The about page
    3. The 404 page
    4. The loading screen
  5. Humor effect example

Why is Humor important?

Humor brings more benefits to us by improving our mental wellbeing. If we are reading or seeing something humorous, that affects our energy in a positive manner helping in the process of creating a healthy and positive vibe. Negative emotions can be wiped off with the help of humor. Our minds prefer to deal with humor rather than dealing with negative emotions and that preference can discard us from clinging into negative emotions like anger, anxiety, etc. Moreover, humor plays a big role in taking the attention of people as humorous things increase the interest of people. For example, if you are a speaker and humor was embedded in your speech, the audience's attention would surely be captured by your speech.

Humor effect and digital marketing

Due to the many advantages that the humor effect has to offer you, this psychological tendency is being used by many marketers online for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) as many businesses online focus on building up a good relationship with their target audience to conquer the competitive market and yes, humor effect contributes a lot in that.

Humor can contribute a lot in making a memorable product as we would always remember and easily recall a product or service presented with humor. Therefore, humor effect is an important consideration to drive Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) towards further success.

Types of humor designers can use in digital design


The concept behind Personification is attributing human characteristics into objects or creatures. It is a very creative concept to grab the user's interest in no time. Personification can easily instil key concepts into the user's mind. You can embed mascots to present your brand to the target audience as they are designed to earn love and sympathy from customers. World-famous products use mascots to create an image and personality to make their identity prominent. Moreover, when visiting a website, mascot's welcoming will bring a fresh mood to the user. It will make a friend to the user throughout his stay at your website. Moreover, it is a good idea to summon the mascot if it is requested by the user. It prevents users from getting annoyed.

Comparison with exaggeration

Comparison with exaggeration has been used by Apple computers in their advertising campaign 'Get a Mac.' The marketers of Apple have definitely targeted the humor effect there via the hilarious comparison in order to convert more.

Humor and Surprise

People always love delightful surprises. Surprise speaks to the human mind and we sense the taste of surprise when something unexpected happens. Present your products or services in a manner to evoke the surprise within your target audience to break the boredom of conventional content presentation. Humor incorporated with surprise can definitely treat you well towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

Where exactly to include humor in your website?

The landing page

Don't you love to visit a landing page to see everything is quite unique and refreshing? It is important to remember that your customers may visit you after visiting your competitors. You should be smart enough to present them with what your customers failed to do. Humor effect is ideal to create this unique and compelling first impression. Make your presence felt and they would love it.

The about page

The about page is very important and gives more about the company. Since this page is very valuable to visitors the key to leave your main strengths imprinted on their minds. Therefore, it's worth adding some humor to the page and that humor effect brings an unforgettable experience to the visitor.

The 404 page

We all know about the 404 error page. Most of the visitors find it annoying when they see loading this error page. The importance of a 404 error page is to let your visitors know why the page fails loading and to recommend actions to reverse it. Why don't you add a humorous animation or illustration there to cheer your customers a bit as Airbnb does!

The loading screen

'Waiting' results in frustration and also loading screens would make us at least slightly unhappy. Take the misery of waiting out by cheering your people with something funny. Of course, you can use this opportunity to portrait one of the key strengths of your brand in a quite humorous way.

Humor effect example

The brand Pot Pourri is using the non-glamourous industry they work in to create humor around it. Selling natural odor eliminators for your bathroom has become fun instead of awkward.

Humor effect is used as can be seen on the screenshot from PotPourri

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Example of hypothesis applied

If we add humor in product description, then click-through rate for all users on mobile devices will increase, because of humor effect.


The references contain experiments and studies that prove this bias is there.

1. Life Is Pleasant—and Memory Helps to Keep It That Way!


Would you like to go more in-depth? Here are our recommendations:

The Psychology of Humor: An Integrative Approach by Rod A. Martin Buy this book

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