Puns may be “the lowest form of humor”—so says English author Samuel Johnson, critic of ol’ Shakespeare—but I think they’re awesome.
Some languages can take more pun-ishment than others. Japanese, for example, is full of dajare, ridiculous puns that take advantage of the language’s abundance of homophones.
In general, advertising is fond of puns. They’re pun-chy, usually short, and mostly funny. Pot Noodle, a type of instant ramen that’s especially popular in the UK, often has bizarre wordplay and imagery in their commercials.
British panel show “Have I Got News for You” went pun-wild after Pot Noodle made the news for a possible name change. Panelists started riffing on the product’s name, landing pun-ch after pun-ch.
To be fair, Pot Noodle as a brand could very much be called Pop Noodle. Their commercials often tie into popular culture and use funky wordplay with a wink and nod.
The commercial for their Sticky Rib flavor ends with the following catchphrase: “You got to rib it up!” This is an obvious nod to “rip it up,” musical slang that fits well with a conceit developed by the producers of the ad.
The Pot Noodle people are far from serious with their brand. Beyond Pot Noodle’s wide variety of unusual flavors, people remember the company in part due to their strong ads. Cheap wordplay provides an im-pun-tus for action… and cracks people up.
Bonus points for the use of “wicki-wicker basket.”