Tuesday thoughts: On being funny
I keep telling my husband how funny I am.
He tends to roll his eyes and go back to the golf.
This week, I had a client say to me that he was ‘very happy’ with an article I wrote, but ‘could I add some more of my personality?’ (I’d spent most of my pitch meeting taking the mick out of him).
I was delighted. Most of my clients like corporate. They want to sound professional, experts in their field, and they have a tone of voice that lends well to research papers, studies, and fits with the enterprise sales they’re trying to make. I can do that, that’s my normal.
But for some clients, especially ones selling to consumers, being more fun works perfectly. It’s engaging, it’s lighthearted, it’s memorable. And for me, it’s just great to write.
I added a LOT of personality. I wove in anecdotes about my Dad’s ‘receipt collection’, short sentences, and tongue-in-cheek advice. He loved it. His potential customers will too.
This got me thinking about my all time favourite consumer brands for funny copy. I thought I’d share some with you today! Perhaps consider including some more humour in your copy going forward.
How do you know someone’s vegan?
Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.
I actually had to get up (God, not what I was hoping for when I became a freelance writer) and WALK to my fridge to get some examples of this one for you.
2. Innocent Drinks
I’m not really a smoothie buyer. I tend to only like them when I’m hungover and therefore just dump random things from my fridge/freezer/fruit bowl in the blender and hope for the best.
However, I follow Innocent on twitter for pure comedy gold.
Why I love them:
a) They hardly ever talk about smoothies
b) They take the mick out of themselves
c) They engage with their followers constantly. After using broccoli as a prop in an image, they then kept clarifying to followers that it wasn’t included in the shake. And who can forget the entire Twitter storm they created by hiring Duncan from Blue to promote an (arguably green) smoothie. Divided the nation.
3. Paddy Power
I know nothing about gambling. But my husband is Irish so he follows these guys and I often hear him laughing as they take the mick out of literally everyone. Topical, funny, and relatable. Side note- maybe him not finding me funny is due to our different cultures? I’m going with that.
Here’s a fun story. I once decided, as a young marketer, to sponsor an event where Firebox would be the keynote speaker. I was feeling really chuffed with the people in the room. There were leads, leads everywhere. I’d even managed to get enough caffeine into the sales team that there might be some conversations.
Until the Firebox person walks up to the front of the room, turns on their presentation, and starts with this picture.
It’s possible that I went into a state of shock. Now, I’d find that hilarious. At 25 years old, when your 50-something male CEO is standing in the room assessing your marketing ability, not so much.
Anyway. Firebox’s product copy is absolutely awesome, and hilarious, and their email newsletters are a testament to how to connect with customers.
Did you know Oreos are vegan? Now you do. Go forth and save the planet.
Oreo catapulted into minor fame among marketing copywriter geeks when they tweeted ‘you can still dunk in the dark’ during the Superbowl blackout in 2013.
I admire them for the sheer consistent creativity. I could never come up with that many ideas so often for a biscuit. A great biscuit, but just a biscuit. Sorry, cookie. #murica.
The emoji usage. The gifs. The humour. God, all of it. You win at social media.
Go forth with humour!