The Smart Joker: Resolving Humorous Incongruity in Advertising Facilitates Impressions of Firm Competence

Category: Marketing Seminar
When: 24 April 2018
, 12:15
 - 13:30
Where: Campus Westend, RuW 1.201
Speaker: Dr. Klemens Knöferle (BI Norwegian Business School)

Chi Hoang, Klemens Knoeferle, & Luk Warlop (BI Norwegian Business School)


In one correlational study and three experiments, we show that humorous incongruity in advertising triggers inferences of increased advertiser competence in consumers who successfully decode the incongruity. Examining other humor executions, such as tension-relief and humorous disparagement, reveals that incongruity-resolution is the only major humor execution that specifically enhances competence impressions of advertisers. A boundary condition for the effect of incongruity-resolution is advertisers – and not agencies – being identified as the main source of humor. Another boundary condition is consumers successfully decoding the incongruity. We rule out affect-transfer or creativity perception as potential drivers of the effect on competence impressions. Instead, process evidence suggests that the effect is driven by consumers projecting their own incongruity resolution competence to the advertising firms. We discuss implications for the use of humor in impression management.


Key words: Humor in Advertising, Competence Impressions, Incongruity-resolution


More details on Dr. Klemens Knöferle can be found at: