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USING HUMOR TO PERSUADE

During a 1993 world tour, Michael Jackson, then a Pepsi spokesman, faced accusations of child molestation. Under siege, Jackson pulled out of shows in Thailand, claiming he was dehydrated. Pepsi's archrival Coke exploited the negative publicity by publishing an ad in Bangkok papers. The ad was a simple question and answer: "Dehydrated? There's always Coke!"[26] The ad had humor and bite – too much, it seems. Coke withdrew the ad after complaints from Pepsi.

Professional persuaders know humor can be a powerful tool. Humor, for example, is used in 36 percent of TV ads in the United Kingdom and 24 percent of TV ads in the United States.[27]


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