ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Humour in Direct Mail Advertising

Updated on June 19, 2014
Funny Direct Mail Based On A Great Brand Name - Sir Bedivere's Cask
Funny Direct Mail Based On A Great Brand Name - Sir Bedivere's Cask | Source
Humour In Direct Mail Advertising Can Be Very Effective
Humour In Direct Mail Advertising Can Be Very Effective | Source

Humorous advertising is the most difficult to create successfully. In literature too, humour is known as the most difficult genre to master. This is because of its subjective nature. What is funny to one person may not be funny to another. But when the right balance is found, humour strikes a resonant chord in the human heart and this makes it memorable. It evokes the emotional response all forms of advertising aim for.

My direct mail campaign for McDowell’s just launched whisky – Sir Bedivere’s Cask made recipients laugh and elicited enthusiastic responses, sometimes in broken English!

An eminent theatre personality wrote in, requesting the client to congratulate the copywriter. Even those who hadn’t heard about King Arthur and his knights had found the mailers interesting. And yet the account team had been worried about the target audience lack of knowledge regarding Sir Bedivere who was one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table.

However, I was convinced that advertising can also serve to educate and inform.

The cover letter told the recipients that the president of the company had come across some interesting ancient manuscripts while hunting for a befitting name for his new brand of whisky: a couple of letters from Sir Bedivere to Lancelot. The p.s. (postscript) in the letter explained the phrase Champion of the Whistle' as the person who could hold out longest in a drinking bout.

Cover Letter In Direct Mailer 1
Cover Letter In Direct Mailer 1 | Source

Emotional Appeals Used in Advertising

According to the experts, all forms of advertising appeal to one of the following:

  • To make more money
  • To save money
  • Save time
  • Avoid effort
  • Gain knowledge
  • Avoid loss
  • Be more successful
  • To find love and keep it
  • To be sexy and beautiful
  • To live more comfortably
  • Fear – to be prepared for the worst
  • Exclusivity – to be the first
  • Profit, wealth/prosperity
  • Greed
  • Sex
  • Safety
  • Guilt
  • Pleasure
  • Envy
  • Education
  • Pride/ego/vanity

A Humorous Sales Letter for a Whisky

"Dear Lancelot, what ho!

What a fitting name you have, old friend! You lance a lot, making many a brave knight bite the dust. And you also drink a lot.

Which reminds me of my wine cask. When you return from your Quest

for the Holy Grail, be my guest.

Many a time you have come to the end of my wine cask only to find more wine. You called it The Cornucopia.

I'm writing to you because I wish to apologize for waking you up in the odd hours of the night to save a damsel in distress. You see, for lack of water, I had to dowse you with my wine. And I wouldn't call it a waste. But old friend, Lancelot, I meant you no ill will. So let's have The Champion of the Whistle bout again and I'll know you have forgiven me.

I end here,

Your friend, Bedivere.

P.S: I have this strange feeling that I'm going to make history!"

Second Cover Letter In Direct Mail Campaign
Second Cover Letter In Direct Mail Campaign | Source
Stick To The  Brand Name Whenever You Can
Stick To The Brand Name Whenever You Can | Source

Second Direct Mailer for McDowell's Sir Bedivere's Cask

"What ho, Lancelot!

So you won The Champion of the Whistle again. My gauntlet off to you!

But the worst has happened, old friend! The treacherous Morgan Le Fay gave our beloved King Arthur a magic draught to drink and he had no sooner drunk it than his eyes were opened to the intrigue between you and his lady, Guinivere! Although I do not think the King is vindictive, I can see the jealousy in his eyes.

We must do something quick to dull the pain, soften the anger. Our poor King, he loves both Queen Guinivere and you so!

I have the solution. Merlin tells me there is such a drink called a `Cocktail.' It's all mixed up. He says a Toltec (Aztec) noble discovered it and sent it to his king by the hand of his daughter, Xochitl. Thus the word, `Cocktail.'

Well, our great Wizard, Merlin, has kindly given me the secret cocktail recipe. He says it mellows hearts and strengthens the bonds of friendship. I'm going to call this drink Merlin O in his honour.

So why not gift a cask of Merlin O to King Arthur? He needs it.

Your old friend, Bedivere."

Some of the most well-known ads and commercials are humourous in nature. It is a copywriter's challenge to write a piece that is memorable, but whether humour is acceptable or not depends on the image of the brand.

Sales Letter 2 In Direct Mail Campaign For Whisky
Sales Letter 2 In Direct Mail Campaign For Whisky | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)