Stand-up comics: Future faces of advertising?

Relatively new brands that have a strong digital presence are now using stand-up comics to convey their message. Ad films featuring stand-up comics are relatable, easy to consume, and usually unmistakably funny.

By Chaitanya Ramalingegowda

The ultimate goal of all marketing strategies is to connect with the audience and increase brand recall. Marketing campaigns that can make people laugh are especially effective in creating an emotional connect with them. People are more likely to opt for the products and services corresponding to such campaigns.

Using humour in marketing is akin to walking a tightrope. While the right balance can make for a wonderful show, one wrong step can make everything go haywire. Major Indian brands such as Pidilite’s Fevicol and Cadbury’s 5-Star have successfully employed humour to boost their sales, but others have often missed the mark.

Why are stand-up comics successful at promoting brands?

Since several humorous campaigns have inadvertently gone wrong in the past, brands looking to utilise the power of humour, are now pulling out the big guns. Relatively new brands that have a strong digital presence are now using stand-up comics to convey their message. Ad films featuring stand-up comics are relatable, easy to consume, and usually unmistakably funny. Collaboration with professional comics is therefore the most effective way to create a successful, humour-based campaign.

The proliferation of digital media has given recognition to multiple stand-up comics across the country. By posting videos clips on social media channels such as YouTube and Facebook, stand-up comics have created quite a niche for themselves. When these well-known celebrity faces are seen talking about particular brands and products in their signature, quirky styles, audiences are bound to connect with them, and consequently with the brands. Stand-up comics are more relatable than unknown models.

A funny, edgy ad campaign is the sleekest way to level the playing field for new brands, so that they can easily compete with their long standing counterparts. Humorous campaigns starring popular stand-up comics give the audience a break from routine messaging.

The following brands have had particularly successful campaigns starring popular stand-up comics:

BankBazaar: The popular financial marketplace used a humorous digital campaign to connect with a young audience that shies away from the complicated processes of loans and insurance plans. In order to demystify the processes, the company partnered with several comedians including Sahil Khattar and Atul Khatri to create several episodes that tackled numerous aspects of financial planning.

Zivame: The online lingerie brand launched a unique campaign last Diwali. The brand created a witty, bite-sized ad-film film with comedian Sumukhi Suresh called “Person Not Pataka”. The ad-film was a sarcastic take on the sexist and misogynist strains of referring to women as “pataka” around Diwali, and presented in Suresh’s quintessential quirky manner. This was the first time Zivame took a chance on humour, and it paid off.

Wakefit: The mattress company cashed in on Rahul Dua, the runner-up of Amazon’s reality show based on stand-up comics, Comicstaan.

TaxiForSure: The cab aggregator partnered with popular RJ and comedian Danish Sait to create a campaign that featured Sait as Constable Chowriappah, a hilarious officer who spreads awareness about safe driving.


Chaitanya Ramalingegowda is the co-founder of Wakefit.

MarketingStand-Up Comedy