Marketing your business doesn't have to be a serious business, as these highly successful funny videos prove.
When using comedy to sell your products and services, however, you have to be careful to hit just the right note - or you may risk offending large parts of your target audience.
So if you're considering adding humour to your next content marketing campaign, you can learn a lot from these six great examples of humorous videos done well.
Each one is genuinely funny, but also ensures the core marketing message and audience targeting is not lost amongst all the laughter...
Simply Perfect Marketing
Sometimes you need no words, just two cows, standing on a bank, looking at the water. This fab one-minute animation from Simply Perfect Marketing shows the lengths some people (or cows) have to go to to get the right information across.
When the intro mist clears, we see two cows staring at an inanimate grey object in the water in front of them. Cow One thinks it’s a crocodile (or an alligator. We’re hazy on the difference, especially in cartoon form). Cow Two insists it’s a log. Cow One eventually proves their point is right by standing on it, with inevitable consequences. Cow Three steps in to advertise Simply Perfect Marketing’s services.
You don’t need fancy graphics, music or even any spoken words to create a clear and engaging marketing video. From this short vid, we get the feeling that this company truly understands their positioning. Simple and perfect.
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club’s skit starts like a conventional founder’s YouTube video. Mike introduces himself and his razor company – and then his tagline blows the entire wholesome cover out of the water.
Mike, having announced “Our blades are f***ing great” takes us on a walk through his razor factory, addressing the camera with a straight face the whole time, as we’re hit with visual gags and parodic asides at a greater rate than a classic Airplane movie.
And by the end, somehow, we’ve actually been told that Dollar Shave Club is a viable product with a great USP, and we should buy it. This short film is great example of how what’s essentially a comedy sketch can still impart the right information. It also shows the benefits of YouTube as an advertising platform – imagine That Word in a TV commercial…
Where do we even start with this one? The product is PooPourri, a handbag-size spray that you carry with you to mask inevitable but unpleasant odours (a posh, high-tech air freshener). As the company knows, if you have a scatological subject to talk about, there’s no point being coy – and they certainly don’t hold back.
The comedy here lies in the juxtaposition of the glamorous, RP-speaking narrator in her vintage gown charmingly trilling out phrases like “You’ll not believe the motherload I’ve just dropped”, and “lay a brick” - against inappropriate social backgrounds. Just as you think this must be a spoof, she purrs, “Yes, this is a real product.” We were starting to wonder.
At over two minutes, that’s a lot of poo talk. But, you come away knowing exactly how the product works (it creates a film of sweet-smelling stuff over the water in the toilet bowl, in case you were wondering), how much it costs, how you buy it, and how you get your “stink-free guarantee”. It’s far longer than a conventional commercial, so again, shows how a YouTube ad gives you greater scope.
The internet was made for animal clips, right? So, if your business is animals, it just makes sense to use them. This (much too) brief clip gives you a behind the scenes glimpse of Dallas Zoo.
The title is “Breakdancing gorilla”, and the added bonus is that he’s in a paddling pool. We get a 28-second clip of Zola busting some moves in the water, before the action cuts simply to the zoo’s logo. The accompanying text is essential here, as it informs us that Zola is “demonstrating play behaviours” in an “enrichment session”. The zoo, they’re telling us, cares.
But really, we could watch this for hours. There’s no fancy editing, amusing music or witty commentary – just this fabulous animal in a moment of pure joy. The zoo’s mission and main selling point are communicated in this short, no-frills clip; however, we appreciate that it’s going to be harder to take this approach if your company hasn’t the asset of a dancing gorilla 🙂
Tripp and Tyler / Zoom
Tripp and Tyler’s job is to make corporate videos. No pressure then, guys. The scenario is “A video conference call in real life.” We’ve only read the title and already we’re empathising. At 3:24, it’s pretty long, but stick it out. There’s a pants gag.
The sketch plays out as if a conference call is taking place in a meeting room, with all the usual meltdowns (bad connections, distractions, poor manners) happening in full view. After three excruciating minutes, we’re advised that this wouldn’t have happened if they’d used Zoom meetings software for their conference.
If you have the budget, this shows how hiring professional writers/actors to create your ad produces something polished and witty. It’s genuinely cringe-worthy, and brilliantly highlights all the things we hate about (non-Zoom) conference calls. By the end, we’re screaming for mercy from these dreadful people, and wanting to sign up to Zoom so this can never, ever happen to us at work again.
Virtual Web Productions
With a running time of 4:25, this is as close to commitment as you get with a YouTube ad. Virtual Web Productions use a vox pop approach to promote their marketing video, internet marketing and website design services.
The subject they use to showcase their video-making skills is SEO (another one of their speciality services). Virtual Web Productions’ Jessi Riese takes the mic out to the streets and coffee shops to find out what people know about SEO. It’s wryly amusing rather than laugh-out-loud funny, as we hear people’s thoughts on traditional advertising and Google. There’s also an anecdote about Dotty the Dog and her cyber-inspired name, just to make sure that internet-essential animal element is in there.
It’s a genuinely interesting watch. Whether the interviewees are genuine, primed or actors, the points they make about their everyday use of search engines are really helpful for anyone involved with online advertising (just about everyone with a business). VWP uses the Q&A format to demonstrate their own knowledge and non-patronising approach, building credibility through their ad.
By the way, SEO stands for "Santa’s Express Operations", of course 🙂
These six funny videos prove that marketing doesn't have to be serious to be seriously successful - but you have to tread a fine line to get the tone just right.
And while we wouldn't recommend using humour in everything you do (especially if it absolutely doesn't align with your brand - 'Funny Funerals' anyone?!), then certainly mixing up your marketing with a few laughs once in a while could reap rewards.
Who knows, if you give this a go you could end up laughing all the way to the bank, (I'm here all week etc)...