Zijderveld (1995), cited within Szakolczai (2013), stated
that humour as a concept is strongly connected to culture, illustrating that
humour can vary significantly. How it varies is the pinnacle of this research
and at the focus of the review. According to Koller (1988), ”the humour of any
social category, institution or nation can reveal the particular social forces
that clash within it” (p.332). Koller’s research highlights that there are
more categories than the eye may meet, cultures may not just be ‘nations’ or
‘institutions’, they may be more complex and narrow. Togashi & Kottler
(2015) further support this suggesting it is problematic to generalise a
cultures humour in one single category – again, making more room for research
Kuipers (2006) compared American and Dutch humour and found
that American humour showed a ‘highbrow-lowbrow’, with more moral sensitivity
and tolerance than Dutch humour appeared to have. American ‘highbrow’ humour
implies that it is more political, intellectual and meaningful, which suggests
there is a higher number of jokes with a hidden meaning or less obvious humour.
Hoganson (1998) highlighted how the Philippine culture uses humour as a coping
mechanism for socio-political problems, with the use of political jokes
empowering people to resist opposition. This type of humour is often used as a
medium in examining poverty, pain and exploitation. When the Philippine culture
is using less political based humour, they often use the reversal of gender
roles to create a parody of the ‘macho male’ ideal and the exaggeration of the
females ‘weak, submissive character’ by portraying her as tougher than males.
This insight into cultural differences is vital as it allows us to explore
cultural differences in depth by looking at real life examples.
Raskin (2008) underlines that the interplay amongst
culture’s shapes humour in general. This holds true without forgetting about an
individual’s personal preferences and tastes in regards to humour styles.
Raskin provides more reasoning to how and why humour must differ across
cultures, adding value to the research question without answering it directly
creating room for examination of specific differences between cultures.
When referring to humour and its connection to marketing
campaigns and advertisements, Lynch (2002) presents an important message: ”At
its most basic level, humour is an intended or unintended message interpreted
as funny.” The sender and receiver of this message have to meet on the same
track of thinking in order to mutually understand what creates the message to
be funny, which can lead to a common level of appreciation. However, as the
literature has shown, humour is culture dependent, and advertising has to
constantly monitor this when conceptualising and executing campaigns whether
for local or international markets. The concepts discussed alongside variables
from past researchers are useful in this research for the review and reference
of definitions and comparisons of past findings.