To Cry, Or To Laugh?


“We’ve moved on from the ‘Eat at Joe’s’ sign to far more complex and sometimes even moving, cinematic messages that are designed to create significant memories of a product,” says Adam Dachus of

FACT: Most people living in the First World use a phone, have to mail things, search the internet, eat, and buy furniture. And for most products associated with those activities, there are usually commercials; some funny, some sad, and some the kind of happy that draws a single tear out of your otherwise emotionless eye. The question is, which emotional approach to commercial-making is the most memorable, and therefore the most effective? Are you more inclined to remember a sad commercial, a happy one, or a funny one? It’s a tough question to answer, but it seems like one side of the emotional spectrum clearly outweighs the other.

Emotional commercials – both sad and happy – seem to have a lot more marketing clout than humourous commercials. While we remember funny commercials for their content, it is easier to forget what product they are advertising, unless it is a humourous commercial used by a company who wouldn’t usually employ that sort of approach (think: Bank of Montreal commercial featuring the image of man getting kicked in the crotch repeatedly). Either way, both emotional and funny commercials are by far the most popular when compared to rational, fact-based commercials – and, according to, they help companies to make loads more cash.

Check out the commercials below and let us know which ones you think are the most effective. The Ikea commercial at the bottom of the list does a great job of mixing both emotion and humour, which might be something that other advertising agencies should consider.

Want a laugh? Click here, or here. Feel like having a good cry? Click here, or here.


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