Here is the Lipton Iced Tea commercial I have mentioned a couple times.
I really don’t even know where to start. I know that when I first saw this on TV, I had to make a mental note in order to remember what the advertised product was since I was so distracted by the singing fish and crustaceans. I was left with a bizarre impression that got in the way of my recall of the product.
Additionally, the premise the entire concept is based on is pretty thin: Lipton Green Tea with citrus goes well with fish. This might work if you are selling wine, but I doubt anyone has ever intentionally paired any Lipton product with a dish. Then we get the tag line, that has nothing to do with the (failed) attempt at humor that we just witnessed. What does “the bright side” have to do with fish? Maybe the fish should have been singing Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. Then, if nothing else, the viewer would have that tune stuck in his or her head for the rest of the day.
If humor is the approach to selling a product, then what makes us laugh needs to be directly tied to the actual message or product. Below is a great example of just that. Sukle Advertising, who created Denver’s Use Only What You Need campaign, nails the use of humor in this one because if a viewer remembers the ad at all, then he or she will remember the message.