This is another one of those things on the internet that has gotten popular in the last year. It’s big brands trying to be funny like they are your friend. And it has become a really popular marketing strategy. It’s not being funny in a ‘let’s make funny commercials’ kind of way, although to me it seems to be an offshoot of this. It’s just being funny and having this positive association with their company.
Two quick examples that come to mind are Groupon and JetBlue. A large part of Groupon is having very funny and goofy descriptions of products and website text. They also set up a new “dating site” called Grouspawn to help send Groupon babies to college. It sounds like a joke, and it is a joke. The fact that it is real does not mean it’s not a joke.
If you meet Andrew Mason, you will see that he is a full out goof. But he runs a company which uses comedy as a major tool in cultivating a positive image.
Be on the lookout for comedy as a marketing tool, and let me know if you have any good examples.