A sense of humour

20 November 2019

isobel’s Rob Fletcher was asked by Creative Brief  ‘Does advertising need to regain its sense of humour?





Frequently I ask the question: “Can we be funny?”. “Well, erm, not ‘funny funny,’” comes the response. “Witty, yes, a little sense of humour, maybe”. It gets me thinking that humour often is the most engaging element of the work we do. I grew up around ads that were funny. Not just beer ads. Most advertisements back then used comedy to draw you in. I guess it was the lack of SFX and CGI; back then agencies relied on writers. In advertising, in the work we produce, it seems to be an avenue we’re not encouraged to take anymore. And that’s not very funny.



At isobel, we’re trying to build a culture around being human. As an advertising agency, we create the voice for many brands and businesses. I think the best human trait is the ability to laugh, to make each other laugh. We have started a comedy night, not just because they are brilliant fun and a good chance to socialise with all our friends and their friends, but also to remind us that this is a human industry. There’s something incredibly bonding when a person stands up and recounts a personal moment that they’ve experienced.



You laugh and nod because you have shared that very same moment and it’s a shock that you’re not the only one. Then you realise the whole room is laughing, that we’ve all experienced that exact same thing. It’s insightful, it’s a truth and it’s exactly what is at the heart of what we try to do in our agency. We need to find what makes us laugh so we can find more things that connect us than divide us.