There are a lot of formulas to comedy. The classic tragedy + time = comedy, rules of threes, the pullback and reveal, wordplay, hyperbole, non-sequiturs. Jokes in their simplest terms are tricks. Communicative exploits that elicit a pleasant surprise but still a surprise all the same. A man walks into a bar... Ouch! Comedy plays with our understanding of everything, particularly with our preconceived notions. A man walking into a bar is an uneventful sentence, the dual meaning within the language allows a new understanding to emerge. This is why comedy, when used in marketing and advertising, is so incredibly effective at cutting through the noise. Because comedy, when done well can be illuminating, surprising and something worth sharing.

Doing it well seems to be the concern. Kiwi comedy still has the lingerings of cultural cringe, because to many of us it still feels young. Even with the international success of Flight of the Conchords, Rhys Darby, Rose Matafeo (who just recently won the Edinburgh Fringe Festival award for best show - which is huge!) and more, kiwi's seem to get itchy with their own humour. The laconic laid-back self-deprecation that reinforces the tall poppy syndrome does seem to be withering though. Mainstream Comedy with the likes of 7 Days, Jono and Ben and Funny Girls, means that the nation's humour is coalescing, maturing, maybe even becoming something to be proud of. Even Air New Zealand safety videos have morphed into becoming long-form comedy sketches. With our growing comedic confidence comes more opportunities to push the envelope. And yes, that does mean that there will be some failures along the way, but it also makes for great stories. If a dancing cop can get on the global screens then what could your organisation do?

So why even bother talking about this? It's already being done well, here and there. Personally, it's because I love comedy, and I'd like to see more of it. I've been doing stand up in Auckland for 2 years now and I've met a lot of funny people, and I've seen a lot of appreciative audience members. The comedy industry is flourishing and you can see it for yourself year round at the Classic or all over the city during the Comedy festival. There is a dearth of creative talent out there.

So not just as a marketer, but as a consumer, if you're going to try and sell something to me, at least try and make me feel something while you're doing it. And generally, tragedy doesn't want me to buy anything, except for wine and cake, so let's try and get more fun stuff going. 2018 has been a messy year, let's at least make it funny.