The Power Of Smiles
Our Look At The Trend Of Happy Ads

By: Kimberly Saffran, Sr. Account Executive and Jacqui Garcia, Associate Creative Director

It’s impossible to ignore the way the pandemic reshaped our world and shifted how we connect. Living in a “post-pandemic” world has given us a new perspective on what we once took for granted. It’s changed how we think, act and interact with each other… And brands. Consumers seek an escape from their everyday lives and an outlet for happiness.

The Science of Smiles

Advertisers are embracing all things funny, heartfelt and, in general, entertaining. Entertainment makes us smile and it’s scientifically documented that smiling creates happiness. When our smiling muscles contract, they fire a signal back to the brain, stimulating our reward system and increasing our level of happy hormones, or endorphins. Meaning when we smile, our brains feel happier… And when we are happier, we tend to smile more! Smiling can also reduce stress, elevate your mood and even boost your immune system. Eileen Zhao, Strategic Director at Fred & Farid Los Angeles, recently said, “Against the backdrop of all the chaos in 2022, one of the most notable trends that emerged was the industry’s use of humor.”

Smiles are Contagious

We dare you to watch the new T-Mobile spot featuring Bradley Cooper and his mother without smiling. The hilarious spot, which premiered during the Super Bowl, highlights T-Mobile’s 5G services through witty banter between mother and son in which they can’t stop laughing as they mess up several takes. In fact, the commercial opens with T-Mobile sharing that “we tried to make a commercial.” Their genuine bond and laughter is contagious. It becomes our laughter.

Harnessing Humor to Change Lives

At &Barr, we celebrate the subtle societal shifts and trends that impact how our clients engage with their audiences. Later this year, we will be launching a client campaign that was inspired by “the power of smiles.” Its focus is not simply humor for laughter’s sake; it’s about the emotional investment — the smile ¬— that humor evokes. Making an emotional connection can change a life, especially since positive memories are less likely to fade!

Share a Smile

Physician and philanthropist Debasish Mridha said, “A smile has a magical power; it makes everyone smile back.” When done right, advertising can harness the limitless power of smiles. Smiling is the gift that keeps on giving!

Sources: AdAge, The British Council,

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