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Humor in Advertising

  • Topic: Humor in Advertising
  • Speaker:

    Professor Martin Eisend

  • Venue:Building E4A, Room 523, Macquarie University
  • Time: 3.30pm - 5.00pm

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The use of humor has become common practice in advertising. Approximately one out of five television ads contain humorous appeals. In 2003, 2004, and 2005, all top ten Super Bowl advertisements used humor, and the percentage of award-winning advertisements that used humor climbed progressively from 21% in the 1920s to 66% in the 2000s. Humor in advertising is popular - but is it effective? In this talk I will give an overview on the use and effects of humor in advertising and explain how humor in advertising works. Advertising researchers refer to psychological processes and cultural adaptations to explain the effects of humor on consumers.

Martin Eisend

They have neglected biological nature and biological evolution as alternative explanations for humor's use and effects. By looking at the evolutionary functions of humor, I try to broaden the perspectives for research on humor in advertising, proposing how these functions can explain the use and effects of humor in advertising beyond the explanations provided by prior literature.


Martin Eisend is a professor of marketing at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. His research focuses on consumer behavior and marketing communication, in particular on effects of advertising messages and strategies (e.g., humor, repetition) and societal issues of advertising (e.g., gender roles). His methodological expertise lies in methods of empirical generalizations, in particular meta-analyses.

For more information please contact: Ammy Kwong at


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