August 11, 2010

Ads Should Help Folks Have Fun

Posted by Tyler Ransburgh

Adweek has an article by Bob Deutsch early this month about targeting your customers’ desire for fun and novelty. As Mr. Deutch says “…life can all too often push away the experience of fun and happiness. But people want some fun in their lives.”

When folks are having fun they feel they can let their hair down and put aside their inhibitions. Marketers rarely talk about fun directly, but in designing digital offerings that promise an “experience,” or when focused on building customer relationships, the covert subtext of most advertising should be aimed at creating the feeling of fun.

How do you use the universal desire for fun and relaxing leisure time?


  1. New. A key word in the experience of fun is “new.” People often have fun when having new experiences, learning new things, meeting new people.
  2. Going beyond expectation. To have fun requires going beyond the routine or familiar, to meet what people call “something extra.” Surprise (something new) and the unexpected (something not habitual) contribute to a feeling of the non-ordinary.
  3. Feeling open. To have fun people need a sense of “becoming,” wherein nothing is pre-scripted and the end is unknown at the beginning; here there is an unfolding and an exploration.
  4. No. Fun often requires the absence of things. In this case, no analyzing, doubting, pressure to conform, pretense, restrictions, judgment.
  5. Freedom. Choice and independence are undercurrents of fun. People interpret this as doing what one wants, when one wants, and doing it at one’s own pace (“finding your own rhythm”), without any external demands. This is often called “me time,” which people now deem a luxury.

Ads Should Help Folks Have Fun