Amid the crisis of trust in the marketplace, there have been increasing calls for advertisers to show more honesty in marketing communications. However, firms are still hesitant to follow suit out of concerns that more honesty may mean more losses than gains. Against such background, there is still scant empirical evidence about the effect of honest marketing communications on marketing outcomes to help provide practical guidance for marketers. The present research helps fill this crucial gap by examining the role of humor in honest marketing communications. Three studies in this research reveal novel insights that an interrelationship exists between humor and honesty in marketing communications such that humor can facilitate a sense of self-brand connection and thus benefit honest marketing communications. Together, these findings provide several theoretical and practical implications.



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