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An introduction to the importance of humor in advertising

  • Musical Appeal Music can make or break an ad by setting tone and mood just as quickly as imagery;
  • The importance of humour in the maintenance of organizational culture.

Products with A Sense of Humor: However, studies on the practical use of humor in the design process remain limited. The current work investigated the use of Giggle Popper, a set of principles for creating humorous products, as a conceptual model in the design process and examined its value for humorous product design by looking at case study projects.

We observed how designers accomplished a design project involving the design of humorous water fountains using a software tool inspired by Giggle Popper. Three concepts from the Giggle Popper framework study were chosen for the investigation in order to evaluate the way in which designers developed three final prototypes: The findings suggest that Giggle Popper was helpful for improving and developing humorous products throughout the design process: Each principle was used interchangeably rather than independently, triggering the application of ideas derived from other principles.

The principles of Giggle Popper were chosen and applied according to the characteristics of a product in order to create the proper context for humor. This paper demonstrated cases that showed how designers can use proposed design principles for real products.

The findings of this study could help us to understand how designers and researchers use humor in the design process. The findings can contribute to practical design knowledge about how to create humorous products and can offer guidance on how to evoke positive emotions through products.

Journal of Media Critiques [JMC]

Keywords — Design Principles, Giggle Popper, Humor, Humorous Product, Positive Emotion Relevance to Design Practice — The findings of this study can help designers and industry practitioners understand the delivery of positive emotions through products and how to introduce humor into the design process.

Products with a sense of humor: Case study of humorous products with Giggle Popper. International Journal of Design, 11 179-92. Copyright for this article is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the International Journal of Design.

By virtue of their appearance in this open-access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings. She received a B. She is interested in research which focuses on experience design, especially how to use and convey positive emotions for user satisfaction in the design process. Her research areas are emotional design, interaction design and prototyping for interactive products.

He received a B. He leads the Co. His research interests lie in design oriented human computer interaction, focusing on the creation of people centric values in future products and services and in systematic approaches to creative design and innovation.

He is also interested in harmoniously integrating design research and practice.

Introduction Arousing positive emotions, such as enjoyment and amusement, has been recognized as essential in everyday life. The design domain features various conceptual and theoretical guides for designing products that evoke positive emotions Hekkert, 2006; Jordan, 2010.

  • Journal of Advertising, 37 4 , 47-61;
  • However, the design process of creating humorous products remains poorly understood, including the improvement and development of ideas with respect to materials, the creation of new ideas, and user-product interaction.

However, the frameworks and principles deduced in previous works are difficult to apply in the design process, and studies on the practical use of humor in the design process are insufficient.

It consists of nine principles: However, the design process of creating humorous products remains poorly understood, including the improvement and development of ideas with respect to materials, the creation of new ideas, and user-product interaction.

The current work presents case studies involving the creation of humorous products. An effective procedure for improving the current understanding of the application of humor in the design process would require creating design outcomes, while observing and reflecting on the process. Therefore, we chose a research method for carrying out actual design projects by demonstrating the design process involved in creating humorous products using Giggle Popper. The three case studies show how designers develop their ideas, make choices, and prepare a model based on a set of design principles.

In the reminder of the paper, Giggle Popper and the theoretical grounding of the present study are introduced. Then the case studies in which humorous products are designed are illustrated. Based on the findings, the value and implications of using conceptual tools as an aid to designers in the process of designing humorous products are discussed.

Martin 2010 classified humor that occurs in everyday social interactions into jokes, spontaneous conversational humor, and accidental or unintentional humor. Park 2001 summarized the various types of humor, including wit, satire, and irony, for use in visual communications design.

Humor has been a research theme in multi-disciplinary fields that relate to psychology, philosophy, linguistics, sociology, and literature Martin, 2010. Humor research has explored the mechanism and reasons for laughter, and attempted to answer the fundamental question of why and under what circumstances people laugh and feel amused. Indeed, humor is regarded as a significant aspect of wellbeing, physical health, and psychotherapy.

With respect to the wide range of research findings, the conventional literature on humor features a division of basic theories into the following categories: Incongruity theory argues that humor occurs when there is a mismatch or clash between sensory perceptions and abstract knowledge or concepts. According to this theory, humor depends on unexpectedness or the element of surprise Martin, 2010. Relief theory describes humor from a personal perspective.

Laughter is evoked when stressful situations are removed. In communication design, humor has been treated as a design element, as a visual pun, and as an element of graphic wit Abed, 1994; Heller, 2002; Kince, 1982; Snape, 1993.

Humor and jokes in TV commercials deliver a message and a story; particularly, reversal is viewed as an essential factor in creating humor. In visual communication, the use of visual puns Abed, 1994; Kince, 1982 and graphic wit Heller, 2002 is important in properly presenting the dual meanings of a message. Only when the receiver understands the dual meanings does the situation become amusing. There have been various attempts to deliver positive emotions through interactive products.

Faber and Van Den Hoven 2012through an iterative design process, investigated how the experience of fun can increase in relation to the tangible aspects of a game Empirical studies based on humor have been conducted in product design.

Ludden, Schifferstein, and Hekkert 2007, 2008, 2012 conducted research into the design of products that appeal to the senses through their visual or tactile appearance. Kudrowitz 2010 found that humor helps elicit more creative and varied ideas in the design development phase. The studies of Kudrowitz 2010 an introduction to the importance of humor in advertising Ludden et al.

However, these studies investigated limited areas, such as incongruity factors and the stages of creating ideas, and cannot be applied generally to the design process itself. In addition, the incorporation of humor into an introduction to the importance of humor in advertising involves different factors, such as use, context, function, and user experience.

Therefore, there is still a need to investigate the practical ways in which humor can be applied in product design, with consideration for various usage contexts.

Personal Appeal

The research tapped the specialized views and knowhow of professional comedians and experienced designers. To deduce the design principles for creating humorous products, researchers collected and analyzed existing humorous products with the help of professional designers.

Design researchers and professional designers helped them to identify humor patterns. The grounded theory method was used for the analysis. A significant finding was that experience delivered by humorous products takes place on three levels: In addition, three major approaches for generating humor in products were identified: Incongruity in product design is often achieved by creating incongruity between the visual appearance and purpose of a product as well as through basic design factors, such as size, material, color, and shape, or between the visual appearance and anticipated function of a product.

As is the case with conventional theories of humor, superiority in product design is manifested in the relationships which are established between a product and its user, and the relationship between the user and the observer.

  1. The findings of this study could help us to understand how designers and researchers use humor in the design process. Although the current workshop verified the value of Giggle Popper with a water fountain, a comparison of the deduced ideas for various products would be helpful in verifying the universal applicability of Giggle Popper.
  2. The participants developed concepts on humorous water fountains in teams consisting of three students in each team. In addition, three major approaches for generating humor in products were identified.
  3. The participants regarded the application helpful for spurring ideas.
  4. In this process, they used the principle of shape incongruity. For example, users of the Gas-Stove fountain burst into laughter after operating the product and seeing the water gush out.
  5. These ideas on humor contained the representative Giggle Popper principles, and they were used as initial ideas in this case study.

This situation of use makes the user want to help or pity the product. The principles of relief from social violation are dependent on materials that are socially regarded as having taboo factors inherent in their design, so that adopting them undermines social and moral norms. The previously proposed set of principles for creating humorous products, which are incorporated into Giggle Popper, are classified into two major dimensions: Together these produce nine spaces with different attributes and distinct principles applied to the products associated with each space.

The principles of the nine spaces are as follows: However, the role of Giggle Popper in the entire design process was not fully investigated. Design practice includes not only exploring novel concepts but also considering the materials to be used, efficient implementation, and user-product interaction.

Design evolves through numerous design decisions in the detail design and prototyping phase. Questions remain on how designers can use Giggle Popper to design actual working products. By investigating the design process through observation and interviews, we sought to identify the application of Giggle Popper throughout the design process and its role on the design development of humorous products.

Therefore, this study explored the stages where a designer plays the main role, including idea development and the implementation of working prototypes. Nine senior students majoring in industrial design participated in the design workshop. The participants developed concepts on humorous water fountains in teams consisting of three students in each team. We were interested in exploring how participants applied Giggle Popper to the real product while developing ideas and applying them.

Social Appeal

The three representative ideas were initially drawn from 60 ideas derived from the ideation of 18 designers. The final three ideas were selected with the aid of professional designers. These ideas on humor contained the representative Giggle Popper principles, and they were used as initial ideas in this case study. We believe that this method helped us focus on the process from idea development to implementation, and enabled us to manage the schedule of the workshop effectively.

Participants developed three initial ideas into practical concepts for three humorous products, instead of adapting three initial ideas to their products directly. We asked the participants to develop a working prototype of their final selected concept. Each project was conducted within 12 to 14 days from idea development to implementation. The three concepts include Gas-Stove, a water fountain in the shape of a gas stove; Lay-Your-Hands, a fountain with hands that a user holds to drink water; and Slap-on-My-Face, a fountain that a user needs to slap on a specific area to drink water.

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These three concepts were used as the basic ideas for the case studies. Sketches of the initial concepts for humorous water fountains. A software application running on a tablet computer A in Figure 2 and humorous product cards B in Figure 2 were used to show the principles of Giggle Popper to participants.

The software application contained a set of design principles, sample cases, and guidelines. The humorous product cards included the product name, product image, main functions, and source of humor, which were selected to reflect the three aspects of experience found in previous studies. Presentation of Giggle Popper for design development. Uncovering the Design Process with Giggle Popper The teams further developed each product idea from the initial concept to the final prototype.

Idea development proceeded in several steps. The concepts were evolved by the participants in each step applying Giggle Popper principles. To achieve the study objective, we observed the design process used by designers who used humor through Giggle Popper systematically, from the product idea stage through the implementation of working prototypes.

The final production of working prototypes of the three cases was recorded in detail.