Adding Humor to Hold Time


3 ways to create a memorable on hold experience using comedy in your messaging

When’s the last time you laughed about something you heard while on hold?

It doesn’t happen often, but your on hold messaging can bring a smile to your caller’s face.

Some companies are known for their zany, offbeat hold messages - so much so that many callers will ask to be placed on hold again to hear the rest of the punchline!

That’s pretty powerful. What do you think that kind of attention could do for your brand?

3 Ways to Add Humor to On Hold Messages


Humor isn’t for everyone. It takes a deep understanding of your audience to ensure your words, tone, and delivery resonate with your callers.

If you think your callers could use a pick-me-up while on hold, try these three easy ways to put a little laugh in their day:

#1 - Modify Your Favorite One-Liners

You don’t have to hire a stand-up comedian to record an act for your audience. Changing your favorite one-liner jokes into an on-hold messaging format can do the trick just fine.

For example, you could preface your joke with a simple introduction to set up callers’ expectations, like this:

“While you’re on hold, see if you’ve heard this one before…”

#2 - Address the Elephant in the Room

Another approach is to become extra conversational with your audience by addressing they’re on hold (without actually mentioning they’re on hold). A popular example from a well known American business does this beautifully when a very professional-sounding “announcer” interrupts a typical on hold message with this:

“Please switch your phone to the other ear so you can make sure you hear the rest of this message.”

It’s subtle, it’s cute, it’s smile-cracking, and it fits with their reputation as being a friendly, forward-thinking brand.

#3 - Combine Serious Messaging with Playful Elements

On hold messages serve myriad purposes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fill two needs with one deed. Adding a few funny elements to a value-packed message can show you’re good at what you do and you have fun doing it:

“Want the greenest grass on the block this summer? Follow our top three tips: Number One: Don’t set your yard on fire. Number two: Build a ten-foot high steel fence to avoid direct contact with dogs and children. And number three: take advantage of our summer special today - 30% off all lawn services - (steel fence and fire hose not included.)”

Tips & Tricks for Using Humor On Hold

Sounding humorous on hold isn’t always an easy feat, especially since you can’t gauge your callers’ responses. If you want the best chance of making the right connections, keep the following tips in mind:

  • It’s all in the voice. Things like tone, narrative pace, delivery, and pitch can affect whether or not your joke is well received.

  • Humor is branded, too! “Funny” is not a good fit for every brand. Consider if your foray into comedy matches your image and if your audience will appreciate the effort. Humor doesn't work if no one thinks it’s funny.

  • Avoid copyrighted material. Popular lines from movies or songs might land you in hot water, so check your sources before your message goes live.

Our Certified Professional Commercial Copywriters love to make your callers laugh. Give us a call today to learn more about creative messaging that fits your brand.