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Newsletter #836: The “Get Them Laughing” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Regardless of your product or your industry, you can use a little humor and personality to earn loyal fans. For inspiration on how to do it, check out these opportunities you might be missing:

1. With legalese
2. With emergency procedures
3. With current events
4. Check it out: Stories from The Onion as interpreted by Facebook

1. With legalese

Legalese, policies, and fine print are the last places customers expect to find some personality — that’s why it’s such an opportunity. Online gaming retailer Gamestation took advantage of this with their “immortal soul clause” prank during April Fool’s. Buried in their terms and conditions was a clause that gave Gamestation the right to their customers’ souls. For the few shoppers who caught the clause and opted out of it, Gamestation awarded them a coupon. When Gamestation graciously gave customers their souls back the next day, the whole thing led to a bunch of laughs, buzz, and press coverage.

The lesson: Pay extra attention to the stuff everyone else overlooks. That’s where some of the biggest opportunities to do special things are.

Learn more: Huffington Post

2. With emergency procedures

Even serious companies with serious issues have room to have a little fun. Take, for example, the Center for Disease Control’s recent blog post outlining their recommendations on preparing for a zombie apocalypse. They cover all the tools and supplies you should have on hand (which, coincidentally, will also help you during a natural disaster), and they even outline what their response would be in the event of an actual zombie outbreak. Hundreds of comments and links later — it’s clear the humor paid off.

The lesson: If the CDC can do this, what’s holding you back?

Learn more: The CDC Blog

3. With current events

If you see a trend or topic taking off, look for opportunities to put your spin on things into the mix. A recent great example is British microbrewer BrewDog, who amid all the Royal Wedding frenzy introduced a Viagra-infused “Royal Virility Performance” beer. The limited-edition beer was made with Pfizer’s famous blue pill and, among other ingredients, a healthy bit of sarcasm. As BrewDog explained, it was a playful jab not only at the craziness surrounding the wedding itself, but also at all the marketers trying to cash in on the event.

The lesson: Smart marketers watch the trends, fads, and topics that emerge for opportunities to join in on the wave of conversations.

Learn more: If It’s Hip, It’s Here

4. Check it out: Stories from The Onion as interpreted by Facebook

Maybe the only thing more hilarious than The Onion are the reactions to these stories from people who aren’t in on the joke of the publication. This blog highlights the best of these.

Learn more: Literally Unbelievable

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