Go ahead. Try. It's not easy to make me laugh at your funny advertising.
I might laugh. Or smile, just to be polite.
But what you should expect is me a) looking at the ad (or listening to it), then b) trying to figure out where it went wrong.
Or how it could be better. Or how the sales pitch failed. Or why there's no organic link between the laughs and the product. Or why the ad is even trying to be funny.
This might come from a lifetime of fixing the work of others.
Between years of screenwriting and standup comedy and over two decades of writing advertising, I've fixed a lot of jokes.
But once in a while, I see a funny advertisement that makes me say, "I wish I'd written that."
And then, sometimes, an ad is so good, I'm just happy that it even exists.
This is one of those times.
How to have laughs in your COVID-era advertising
Sure, the first reaction is: why would I make people laugh at COVID advertising? To that, my answer is: Why not? If it's appropriate, have some fun. People need a laugh right now. But an ad I saw last week is still giving me a giggle. It continues to tickle.
(If you were among the 500 or so folks who sat in on the Local Broadcast Sales webinar this week, you've heard me talk about this and may even have seen it. If so, I acknowledge the redundancy.)
Here is that commercial in all its glory...
Yes, I'm a sucker for mock pomposity.
I enjoy comedy that make fun of self-important, cause-oriented messages. Maybe this is one of those times. And maybe it feels so good because it is funny, it pretends to be self-important, and then it does actually support a good cause.
All this to say: Yes, you can have fun, get a laugh, and be on-brand.
This is one of those times where I want to salute the writer who did something ridiculous. "Stay home of the Whopper" is a simple and fun twist on the legacy brand. And "couch potatriot"? That is phrase is genius in its stupidity.
This is so much better than the moldy Whopper of many months ago. What were they thinking? It doesn't matter how beautiful the photography is. It doesn't matter what point they were trying to make. The human animal is hardwired to be repelled by moldy food. That message doesn't make you feel good. This couch potatriot message, however? It doesn't even show the food. It just shows the silliness of the situation and invites you to play.
And in "these uncertain times" of stoopid, hackneyed phrases and maudlin sentiment, evoking a good feeling and encouraging play are valuable things to give your customer.
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Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in
Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.