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Abstract

Humor is often used in advertising to make messages more entertaining and memorable. There are circumstances, however, under which humor can impede the acquisition of information from ads. This study explores these circumstances by examining how the interplay of humor expectancy, humor relevancy, and individuals' need for humor influences message claims recall. Results of experimentation show that recall is damaged when humor is expected—especially when expected humor is conceptually related to the message. Additionally, the deleterious impact of humor expectancy on recall is more pronounced among individuals characterized by low need for humor. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.