Rather than directly give advice this time around, I thought I would ask a question. A one-way discussion if you will. And that is: are weird commercials more effective at selling products?

Companies certainly seem to think so, at least when it comes to YouTube and television advertisements. You can’t go a full hour without coming across one of these things. Head-scratching, reality-shattering affairs where the background is so warped and nonsensical that you could swear it came straight from Alice in Wonderland.

But do these work? Do they influence sales at all? Or are they just a failed attempt to make people buy more stuff?

Consensus on this subject, after looking in a few places online*, seems to me unclear. And the one survey I found wasn’t exactly the most scientific study—to put things lightly.

So, I guess I have to form my own opinion on the matter, and I would have to say the answer is both yes…and no. I’m not the first person to observe that in the case of some of the truly out-there ads, you’re not even sure what the product is, let alone why you should buy it. And these are, well, not helpful in the slightest. No matter how outlandish the commercials for Old Spice may get, I’m not going to suddenly change my preference for body wash because of it.

However, I do think there are some benefits to it. Just not necessarily ones the creators intended. While often not being any more useful than a regular ad at pulling in sales, they do create a sort of community amongst people that already use the product.

Sounds strange I know, but I do actually appreciate a brand more if I see clever ads relating to it. And I’ve got to figure that I’m not the only one. It creates a feeling of stability, in the sense that the product still exists and is growing with you.  And in the case of the strange, the weird, and the absurd, if it entertains, it at least on some level endears.

*Sources:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/06/do-funny-ads-work/277113/

http://www.ibtimes.com/do-funny-ads-sell-consumers-might-be-laughing-advertisers-expense-723644

http://business.time.com/2012/07/18/ha-ads-that-make-you-laugh-dont-really-make-you-buy/

http://adage.com/article/news/10-funniest-tv-ads-sell-unfunny/236024/

If you liked this article, you can read more of Brandon Scott’s work on The Hive, or at his website: www.coolerbs.com.