Aedge Podcast - Rarely Rational - Humour Effect

Apr 18, 2024

Don’t jump on the bandwagon?!

This is the third mini-series of the Rarely Rational series on cognitive biases. In this mini-series, we focus on biases that affect our memory and recall. 

In this episode, Jyothi Sridhar and Madhavi Nadig talk about the Humour Effect, how it affects our perception and how companies and products leverage it to stand out from the crowd.

  • “Hey Google! Tell me a joke.” 😀 Even AI Assistants must get humour.

  • Guess who had the last laugh when Google launched Gmail on April Fools Day!?

  • Humour Effect is a cognitive bias that makes us remember funny things better. Hence it is useful in advertising and learning

  • Users like humorous brands. But leaders don’t consider humour essential for popularizing their brands

  • Amul has had its humour game on for decades, both in print and online channels

  • Humour Effect increases attention and improves retention

  • Humour can reinforce concepts to learners, thus helping them combat the Forgetting Curve

  • Products use humour to increase user engagement and stickiness

  • Aaron Walter’s translation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to products: Products must be functional at least, reliable, usable and pleasurable at their best

  • People look for “delighters” in products

  • Type “askew” in your Google search bar and see what happens

  • For Deepavali, when users played an Indian song, Spotify replaced the progress bar with a burning sparkler

  • Evoke the humour effect by “surprising” users and making them smile

  • SmartStart is built on humour. Both the learner and the coach are characters in a comic strip. Learning unfurls through their interactions

  • Storytelling with a dash of humour has been the USP of all our learning products

  • Delivering a humourous video on Unconscious Bias to train 1 lakh employees of an Indian IT major, in 6 international languages

  • Madhavi creating memes for a SmartEES course on Mental Health to introduce lighter moments in the midst of teaching a dense topic

  • Humour can soften the impact of unexpected errors in services. E.g. showing fun messages instead of bland HTTP error codes

  • Lorem ipsum generators generate humourous content to entertain designers

  • Companies design good-looking mascots to personify their brands

  • Microsoft’s Clippy was both interesting and annoying at the same time

  • Humour is a double-edged sword—it can backfire

  • Monster India’s fun rebranding campaign of having their employees fake-quit drew the internet’s ire due to bad timing

  • Humour cannot salvage a bad product or bad user experience

  • Unintentional humour associated with a product may still work to its benefit

  • Programmers have ensured that Easter Eggs have always been around to entertain, delight and educate users

  • The earliest Easter Egg was when you used the command “make love” and it asked you “Not war?”

  • Jyothi recommends Earnest Cline’s sci-fi novel “Ready Player One” since it’s full of Easter Eggs and pop culture references

  • Humour is a useful tool for persuading and educating people

  • According to the “Fun Theory”, fun, playfulness and humour can be used to change user behaviour

  • Manipal Hospitals replaced the red traffic lights with red hearts to educate Bangaloreans on cardiac health

  • How to use humour to “wow” your audience.

This podcast is brought to you by Adeptic Creative Labs with support from the team at Clearly Blue Digital.

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