December 1, 2010

The Wrong Place for Funny

Let’s face it. Everyone is not funny. For every person you know who tells good jokes or makes people laugh, you could probably name 10 people who do not have much of a sense of humor. They are not bad people, just not very funny.

I often tell my wife that I’m the funniest person I know. Judging by her reaction, I’m the only one who feels that way.

Eye of the Beholder

When it comes to humor, we all have different tastes. That’s one reason why I try to steer our clients away from trying to be funny in their marketing videos. Humor can work in a 30 or 60 second TV commercial. For a company trying to engage potential customers, your attempt at comedy can easily leave the wrong impression.

Take this holiday commercial for the Minnesota Lottery. Do you find it funny?

A Short Shelf-Life

You might laugh the first time you watch the Minnesota Lottery commercial. You might even laugh the next time you see it. Odds are you won’t be laughing at it two or three months from now, which is why the one-armed snowman will have melted away after Christmas (told you I could be funny.)

In fact, humor can have the opposite effect you desire. What is funny at first quickly becomes annoying. And instead of making people want to do business with you, the “not so funny” profile video on your website will simply turn customers away.

Stick with your personal story on video. If it’s produced effectively, it doesn’t need to be funny to help grow your business.

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