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78% of people believe brands can do more to deliver happiness

People want brands to make them smile and laugh, but business leaders fear using humor in customer interactions. According to a new study from Oracle and five-time New York Times bestselling author and podcaster Gretchen Rubin, people are searching for new experiences that make them smile and laugh. In fact, consumers will reward brands that embrace humor with loyalty, advocacy, and repeat purchases—and walk away from those that don’t.

Gretchen Rubin and comedian Katie Boyle discuss happiness today and how brands can deliver joy.

Creating Happy Customers with Humor


41% of people are willing to leave a brand if it doesn’t make them smile

Nearly everyone (91%) wants brands to make them smile and laugh. Despite this preference, brands rarely use humor. Why? 95% fear using humor in customer interactions, and 85% don’t believe they have the data insights or tools to successfully deliver humor.

Humor can pay dividends—if done right:


would buy from a brand again


would choose that brand over a competitor


would spend more money with that brand

“For brands aiming to contribute to the happiness of their target audience, the process starts with data and knowing your customers. Only then can you bring the appropriate mix of humor, personality, and brand experience that will drive loyalty and brand advocacy.”

Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestseller author and podcaster

The impact of humor on customer engagement

Explore the impact of humor on advertising, marketing, sales, and customer service interactions—and where brands are missing the mark.

Explore more resources to help enhance your customer experience

CX study: Today's customers crave happiness—and they want brands to deliver it

They say you can’t buy happiness, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use humor to increase sales. In fact, making customers laugh could be what sets you apart from the competition. People are prioritizing happiness, and they’re willing to reward companies that make them smile.

Marketers: Don’t forget the LOLs

Data is telling us something we know intuitively to be true: Laughter is the best medicine. Business leaders only refrain from using humor because they aren’t sure it will be used appropriately. Data and AI can help guide decisions on when to use humor in customer interactions—and when to steer clear.


Why humor in Super Bowl advertising belongs in our "new normal"

Mollie Spillman, Chief Revenue Officer, Oracle

To say a given Super Bowl ad has pressure on it to deliver maximum ROI would be a massive understatement. For years, many brands incorporated humor into their Super Bowl ads to entertain and engage—and it sure paid off. However, since the start of the pandemic, many of these same brands have been leery of using humor. According to Statista, nearly 4 in 10 consumers in 2020 believed humor was inappropriate in advertising. But that was then, and this is now.

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