We all remember Seinfeld – the show about “nothing.” A show that found humor in ordinary situations: relationships, jobs, parents, a bite at the local coffee shop, bras for men…you know, everyday type stuff. As we go through life, most of us fail to ask the simple yet obvious questions on which Jerry would base his episodes. He found humor in everyday life.
Observational type humor towards the relatable yet mundane is what gets Jerry Seinfeld’s audience laughing the most. It causes people to look at everyday situations in a way they hadn’t before. Utilizing this type of humor within your business’ marketing strategy can be extremely effective… imagine the amount of people that would “tune in” to see what you were going to talk about next. Making your product “relatable” is key.
As we are bombarded with advertising campaigns these days, especially during the holiday season, how do we stand out amongst our competitors? Humor. People like funny things. They relax and pay attention when they know you have a sense of humor. It causes an emotional connection with the customer and leads them to talk about your company and your ad with others. It puts them in a good mood, and creates a positive image for your company. Humor makes you easy to approach, and easy to remember.
Here are some basic tips on how to transform your business-as-usual marketing into effective and entertaining marketing without turning your message into a joke:
1. Wear a watch, because timing is everything: Ask Jerry and he’ll probably tell you that timing is one of the most important factors when making something funny. That and alcohol. How punctuation paces a sentence, or how a photo, illustration or animation makes the viewer do a double take all impact timing. The littlest throwaway detail can lead to the biggest, most memorable laughs.
2. Know your audience: Advertising humor needs to be well suited to its audience. If your customer doesn’t get the joke, then the joke’s on you. A sophisticated audience will understand your irony, satire and puns, but a young audience may only understand slapstick comedy or a silly cartoon caricature. Inside jokes can be effective if the recipient understands that it was done for them, but nobody else will get it.
3. What’s the medium? Sometimes it’s challenging to implement humor into a print ad since the funny element must be very clearly defined and common enough to “get” instantly. Being restricted to a still image means the copywriting needs to be funny and quick-witted. And I do mean quick-witted – you have about 5 seconds to catch the reader’s attention. Keep it short and sweet. (Or naughty, whichever you prefer).
4. Don’t knock-knock it until you’ve tried it: Emotional connection with your audience is priceless. How often does your company’s marketing strategy have customers quoting from them for weeks, months or years after they first appear? No need to answer that.
5. Leave them wanting more: Everyone has a relative that tells the same joke over and over… and over. Change up your ads that incorporate humor to keep them from going stale.
During this holiday season as you are thinking about your 2012 Marketing Plan… channel your inner comedian and ask, WWJD…What would Jerry Do?