Why Every Agency Needs A “Class Clown”
Comedy and marketing: the two go together like PB&J, or 2018 and people eating tide pods, because people are doing that for some reason.
As someone who spends the majority of his time writing everything from copy for ad campaigns to jokes for scripts, stand-up and more, I’d be crazy not to acknowledge the parallels between the two.
Parallels such as the need to know your audience and define your objective, or the importance of being relatable and putting in research, not to mention so many more.
When you think about it, there’s tons of reasons why humor translates so well to marketing and advertising — but it wasn’t until I spent time in both fields that I truly realized the similarities. The more time I spent freelancing, copywriting, scriptwriting, managing social media, and performing, the more it hit me: every creative agency could use a class clown — someone who can leverage humor as a tool.
In fact, I still stop in my tracks when I witness the lack of emphasis that marketing professionals place on using humor in campaigns, and even in their own brand. Why? Because with humor comes humanization, which builds brand personality, which creates customer loyalty, which, as a result, leads to revenue and long term success.
It’s not like humor is some secret weapon. We all know what “being funny” looks like and what laughing feels like. Even if it’s somewhat subjective. We all have someone we think is “the funniest person ever” or a favorite comedian or even a favorite knock knock joke or comedy movie. It’s just a matter of tapping into those emotions and memories, and in Bonmo’s case, those people — because there are people who spend hours and weeks and months and even years perfecting the art of making others laugh. These people approach it like a delicate science.
You wouldn’t go to just anyone for surgery, right? Exactly, you would go to a surgeon. Similarly, and also not similarly at all, if you wanted to have the best shot at making someone laugh, you would go to a comedian.
I’ll say it again, every agency needs a class clown. Because while they may have been obnoxious in high school (Matt), they can actually make a tangible impact in this industry. Your revenue and your email subscription list will back this up.
How? Well, humor can be an extremely powerful tool for a number of reasons.
It can help us make sense of chaos using new perspectives. It enables us to discuss taboo topics with a sense of comfort. Laughing even leads to a number of health benefits. Like a memorable meal, a good joke should stick with you well beyond the present moment. You know those ad campaigns, or that line of copy, or that commercial that you find yourself thinking about even hours or days later? Yes, THAT! That’s what it’s all about. There’s not a better way to create this stickiness than with humor.
That’s why it’s no surprise that storytellers of all backgrounds have relied on humor to make authentic connections with audiences since the beginning of time. It’s not just stand-up comedians. Everyone from movie directors to authors to advertisers, educators, politicians and more leverage humor to humanize their work and positively engage with others.
After all, comedy, at its core, is about emotion. Emotion, at its core, is about being human. I’d argue that what we as humans crave most is connection. Your audience (unless they are robots because you’re reading this in 2033) yearns for a way to feel connected, especially in an ever-increasing world of disjointed, digital communication. I’m looking at you, Tinder.
Comedy makes us feel present, engaged, and part of something bigger. In short: laughing just makes us feel good. It doesn’t take a marketing strategist to understand that.
Sharing a laugh with your audience lets them get a deeper look into your company and inspires brand loyalty — something that is highly sought after. Brand loyalty means that even if consumers aren’t seeing your content at a given moment, they will still buy or recommend your product as a result of the positive emotional connection they have formed (in this case through laughter). It’s human nature. It’s as if they’re talking about a close friend instead of a company. SORRY FOR THE MANSPLAINING.
Admittedly, depending on your objective, humor isn’t always the correct route to take. But more often than not, creating a light, engaging, conversational atmosphere can go a long, long way. Let’s face it, if there’s one thing that we can all do better, it’s not take ourselves too seriously (after all you never know when we’re going to get nuked).
It’s easier said than done, but remember, even Steve Martin had to start somewhere. So get out there and make ‘em laugh!