If you want to add muscle to your wellness messages, don’t forget to include pictures — more specifically, humorous illustrations. Funny, witty cartoons can carry with them a certain power that can’t be conveyed in words alone.
“Cartoons and illustrations are one of the most memorable forms of printed communication,” according to the Hope Health white paper, “The Case for Cartoons In Health and Wellness Communication.”
Humorous cartoons and illustrations are effective for health and wellness communications because:
- They are more likely to be read — and may even be passed along to others, spreading the message to even more people. These days, it’s common to share humorous illustrations with others via emails, texts, and social media. The illustrations may live on way beyond your initial distribution. They could even go viral.
- They can deliver potentially offensive messages related to negative behaviors without insulting the readers and causing them to “tune out.” Seeing a hummingbird that’s overweight from drinking too much nectar may be more effective to communicate the idea of limiting sugar intake than showing an actual person devouring a dessert.
- They can appeal to a mixed audience, allowing readers to quickly and easily relate to a cartoon character, regardless of whether the character looks like them. Again, some people may ignore a realistic photo (and any accompanying message) if they can’t relate to the person pictured due to a difference in age, size, gender, or ethnicity.
- They can help people to laugh at themselves and their behaviors, and help people to consider change without having to hurdle the typical I-don’t-want-to-change barriers. When people see their behaviors being portrayed in funny or satirical ways, individuals may be able to “see” their actions for what they are better than if you point them out directly.
- They can communicate messages to people with limited literacy or whose first language isn’t English. Illustrations can be a universal language, no interpretation needed.
- They can evoke emotional responses more than large blocks of copy can. Because better memory connections are made through emotion, information retention is higher when humor is used to present material. When people remember what they are supposed to do, they are more likely to do it.
You can add cartoons or humorous illustrations to any health and wellness communications:
- Newsletter articles
- Email messages
- Social-media posts
For a detailed look at how humorous illustrations can effectively convey health & wellness information to a broad audience, download Hope Health’s FREE white paper, “The Case for Cartoons in Health and Wellness Communication.”
Also check out this article – “Wellness Engagement: Why I Love Cartoons in Health Communication.”