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  • By: Fred K. Beard
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Because most consumers are exposed to a large number of advertisements on a daily basis, humorous advertisements may be the most frequent way that many come into contact with intentional humor. Traditional advertisements are typically defined as persuasive, nonpersonal communications delivered to consumers via the mass media on behalf of identifiable sponsors. Advertisers use humor as a message tactic, with the intent of enhancing an advertisement's potential for achieving various strategic objectives. Humor was used rather infrequently during the early years of modern advertising; researchers, however, have confirmed that its use in contemporary advertising is prevalent, especially in the broadcast media. Although this is generally true for most industrialized, First World countries, humor is found somewhat more frequently in the advertising of Western countries and ...

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