Everybody loves funny videos. Take a look at Buzzfeed. A great deal of their popularity comes from the funny and ridiculous content they produce on a regular basis. There are also some great funny commercials and branded videos out there. As you can tell from prior posts, I really enjoy the hilarious work coming from Dollar Shave Club. Old Spice did some funny commercials too, until they began to try to one up themselves every commercial they made. So it's obvious that humor is a powerful tool in a marketing arsenal. Although, as the old comic book cliche goes, "With great power comes great responsibility."
What's the problem with using humor? On the surface, humor can do an amazing job at winning over an audience. But it can be dangerous because the space between well done humor and a disaster is pretty small.
The best result you can hope for with a poorly done comedic video is that your audience loses interest fast. Have you ever watched a comedy that was bad from the get go? The writing was poor. The timing off. Even if the actors were skilled, there was no saving it. How long were you able to watch? Even if you finished, were you playing on your phone or doing something else to distract you from the movie? Marketing videos and commercials can suffer the same fate. The difference is, your audience is less forgiving. They won't waste their time forcing themselves through it if it's poorly done, and that can impact they way people view your company. So, that is the best result from making a poorly made comedic video.
Then comes the worst thing that can possibly happen: you find something funny, but other people find it offensive. Unfortunately, jokes with the best intentions can be found offensive because you just haven't walked in the same shoes as others. So even if you didn't mean to offend anyone, you are now stuck apologizing for your company. That is not a place you want to find yourself in.
Don't let this deter you from trying to use humor, but do make sure you think it through before you film. Going too big can come across as hokey, and make sure you have a professional editor as well to achieve the perfect timing and rhythm that comedy needs.