Does Humour Belong in Marketing?

People don’t buy from Clowns.

-Claude C. Hopkins

Some say no, humour does not belong in marketing. We’re supposed to inform and persuade, and we’re not meant to be funny.

Dean Rieck has an excellent piece that explains in full rational justification why humour doesn’t sell.

And yet…

This ad for a television network gets it absolutely spot on.

Why?

 

Because the message and the way it’s formatted (played out, rather) are absolutely, perfectly apt for the audience. People who enjoy drama, fun and entertainment on TV – well that ad gives them precisely that, doesn’t it?

I suppose it comes down to really knowing your customer. Knowing them so well that you know exactly what will and will not work for them. If it’s humour that will work for them? Then you just might want to inject some fun in your marketing.

Just be careful, because you have to get it exactly right. If it’s over the top, or if it’s ‘look how clever I am’, it can backfire.

Humour in marketing works, but not always. Proceed with caution.

How Far Would You Go To Engage a Reader?

If you’re going to cause people to take action…

If you’re going to make sales…

If you want to earn money by solving problems for people…

You have to – absolutely must – be able to have those people relate to you and your message.

For that, you need to know who they are.

You need to know exactly what their pain-points are, before you can explain astutely what solution you are offering them.

Yesterday, this became clear to me in a new way.

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You Would Think Someone at Expedia Would Have Been Awake

Last week I came across an article on Silicon.com with the title: ‘How one extra data field can cost 12 Million’. I went to have a read and saw the opening sentence:


Online travel firm Expedia has found that data analytics can deliver a multi-million dollar kick to a company’s bottom line.

What a complete load of hogwash. Data analytics?

I call bollocks.

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A Friendly Open Question For Clay Collins

I like Clay Collins. I think he’s very smart, funny and helpful, and I’ve learned a lot from him, and still do. That’s why I’m subscribed to his marketing show and that’s why I received the email that ultimately led to this post – and hopefully to a bit of friendly debate.

Clay Did Something I Didn’t Really Like – And it Confused Me. A LOT.

Last week, an email notification flashed across my screen, announcing a message from Clay. Subject header: ‘Hater’.

Now, I’m a guy who lives and dies by the power of words – quite literally. I also like to philosophise about things like ethics, psychology and semantics, amongst a bunch of other things.

As such, the word ‘hate’ is one that I rarely, if ever, use.

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The Most Beautiful Lonely Christmas – And Loathsome Marketers

This was supposed to be a vitriolically angry post, but my cat just snuggled up to me, so I’m a bit placated. You win.

It may seem really weird and antisocial, but this last holiday season, I decided to stay at home and spend it all by myself, on my own. I didn’t want to go out and see people – I just wanted some quiet time and retreat a little.

I’m really happy I did, because it enabled me to meet some amazing people online, and I mean really tremendously amazing people. One in particular (you know I’m talking to you) but that’s something that isn’t meant to be shared – yet.

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How Do You Make Money?

A few years ago on a rainy and gloomy night, I was approached by some guy as I was hurrying home.

“Hey, listen, lemme tell you something. Do you want to know how to make money?”

I was pretty hungry in those days, but I was badly cynical too. As I walked on, he followed up and stopped me. Under the streetlight I could see him better and he looked friendly enough. And he was getting as wet as I was, so I listened to him.

“I have here one of the last copies of my book. This very book is all you will ever need to make money. Lots of it, if you want to. Everything is in there, this is your manual to make bucks. You want it? Only twenty Dollars.”

To be honest, it wasn’t expensive. And he seemed honest enough.  Actually, I quite liked him.

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Lessons From a Scoundrel: How to Write Killer Subject Lines

Imagine a really pretty woman as she walks into a bar with a female friend. It’s probably after work and they’re about to have a drink, a chat, and unwind a little.

Now this lady is awesome. Stunning.

I’m talking Raquel Welch-ish or maybe Naomi Campbell. Or Susan Boyle if you like, I’m really not a judgmental kind of guy.

She’s obviously been approached by many guys in her life, with various degrees of lewd intention. What can I say? If you’re really beautiful, you get a lot of attention. That’s how it works. A good part of that attention has been the inevitable pickup line. ‘Naf’, is what my girlfriend calls it. “Who uses pickup lines, anyway?”

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Ethics in marketing. Really?

Uh-oh… JohnnyBTruant has just posted an article I wrote, and I realized that it’s been three weeks since I wrote anything here. So, go check out the article: http://questiontherules.com/i-am-johnnys-balls/

I’ll see you back here when you’re done.

Ethics in marketing. Really?

Have you ever seen a kid in a store launch into a frenzy of  covetousness upon seeing some candy or a toy? ‘Mommy mommy, I want this, can I have this? Please?’

Of course you have. Adorable I say, but that’s probably because I don’t have any children. My abbot wouldn’t let me.

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