Woody Allen once said he doesn’t want to achieve immortality through his work; he wants to achieve it by not dying. I think the rest of us have already come to terms with that inevitable reality, even if it’s not something to look forward to.
Quite a few people deal with this grim fact of fate by looking for the humor in it. Hence a crop of funereal entertainment from movies like “Death Becomes Her,” “Weekend at Bernie’s” and “Death at a Funeral” to TV series such as “Six Feet Under” and “Dead Like Me.” (I’m convinced that I turned out the way I am thanks to all those years watching “The Addams Family” in the 60s.)
Humor and death just seem to find a natural affinity for each other. This is particularly true among the iconoclastic Baby Boom generation.
There is a place for humor in funeral advertising – particularly with regard to before-need advertising. After all, nobody’s dead yet.
For many, humor – especially if it comes from a place of respect and empathy – is a welcome starting point to discuss funeral plans. Humor acknowledges the universality of the subject while softening the “immediacy” of it.
Can funeral adverting be humorous while still being impactful on sales? Yes. Can it be irreverent but respectful at the same time? Absolutely!
Best of all, since humorous funeral advertising is completely unexpected, it gets attention when nearly all other funeral advertising just gets ignored. Successful use of humor in funeral ads not only raises eyebrows but awareness and response rates. (We’ve seen this for a fact!)
So feel free to lighten up a little, be entertaining and engaging. Not to venture out can spell death in a competitive or challenging environment.