Beyond advertising: Marketing research on humor and consumer goals

The Journal of Consumer Research is publishing a paper that I wrote with Caleb Warren (University of Arizona) and Adam Barsky (University of Melbourne).

We look beyond advertising research at ways humor has important effects on people’s lives.

The abstract:

Humor, Comedy, and Consumer Behavior

Consumers regularly experience humor while buying and using products, procuring services, and engaging in various consumption experiences, whether watching a movie or dining with colleagues. Despite an expansive literature on how humor influences advertisers’ communication goals, far less is known about how humor appreciation and comedy production influence the likelihood of attaining various consumption goals, from experiencing pleasure and making better decisions to staying healthy and building relationships. Drawing on a wide range of findings from multiple disciplines, we develop a framework for understanding and investigating the different ways in which experiencing and creating laughter and amusement help—and sometimes hurt—consumers reach their goals. The framework provides key insights into the nuanced role of humor and comedy in consumer welfare.

You can download a pre-publication version of the paper here:


Warren, C., Barsky, A. & McGraw, A.P., (Forthcoming). Humor, comedy, and consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Research.