Do you think your product is funny? The good news is it doesn’t matter anymore. Your customers don’t care if your product is cool or funny or brand new. They want to know what your product can do for them and where to buy it.
Humor breaks down barriers. It’s one of the easiest ways to connect emotionally with another human being. So, stop spending big money on producing boring videos. No matter what business you’re in, laughter is the best sales technique, and these examples prove it.
Old Spice: Take a Look at My Son
Old Spice’s body spray ad campaign is the perfect combination of off the wall yet relatable humor. Every guy loves his mom. Moms love to buy toiletries like body spray for their sons. Boys like girls. Moms want their sons to have a girl, just not one they love more than their mom. Cue the hilarious lyrics, “Old Spice, look what you’ve done, make a man out of my son,” and moms crashing their sons’ dates sobbing and singing. The funny part is how the moms actually crash the dates: hiding in trees, rolling down the gutter at the bowling alley, riding a laundry basket like a skateboard hanging onto the car bumper with sparks flying. The over-the-top humor, not to mention the ridiculous visuals and song, make this ad campaign a shoe-in for water cooler conversation.
Esurance: Offline Over-Sharer Beatrice
Who can forget Beatrice’s delightfully literal confusion over how Facebook works in Esurance’s “offline over-sharer” ad campaign. Beatrice posts her vacation pics to her wall. Not her Facebook wall but her living room wall. When her friend exclaims, “That’s not how it works!” Beatrice doesn’t bat an eye as she says, “I unfriend you.”
So what does insurance have to do with two elderly women and Facebook? Insurance might be the least exciting thing to talk about, second only to tax season. What Esurance did was smart and engaging: they drew a parallel. Their message was simple: The other insurance companies are outdated, just like Beatrice’s idea of how Facebook works.
Esurance also hit another home run with this ad by remembering the most important thing about humor in advertising: Don’t be rude or alienate your audience. While they poke fun at Beatrice’s age, they didn’t make the voice of reason her young daughter but her equally aged friend who informs Beatrice she’s way off the mark.
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Oreo: The Daily Twist
This concept from Oreo was mostly image-based, but it succeeded for these two reasons: “What’s trending” is an invaluable resource for driving traffic, getting clicks and new visitors, and consistency is key. Oreo mastered the art of relevant ad content with the celebration of their 100th year with 100 Days of Oreo ad campaigns (usually a single photograph, but some were GIFs or short videos). Each day, a production team reviewed current events and created a new Oreo-themed take on what was trending that day. For marriage equality, it was a seven-layer rainbow Oreo. For the release of the new Batman trailer, it was a batwing-shaped Oreo.
Granted, this campaign was not only time consuming but also costly. The takeaway is that Photoshop is a godsend and trending topics drive crazy amounts of traffic. Make your product feel relevant to what is going on in the world and watch your brand’s perception and your click-through ratings soar.
Morphsuits: The Mannequin Mob
Combine two things that are already popular and take your enthusiasm out in public. That’s the idea behind this mannequin mob in Morphsuits that took over a Manhattan Gap store. Morphsuits have been popular for years. Who can forget Charlie Day from the hit show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” in his infamous green Morphsuit? Flash mobs are also popular activities that often get above-average views on YouTube.
This Mannequin Mob took it one step further. Although all they did was stand still, they caused quite a stir. The video shows customers taking pictures, some totally creeped out and many giggling. The fake mannequins even surprised Gap employees.
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