Times of crisis are a huge bonding experience. Whether wars, loss, or plagues and pandemics, crisis bands humankind (and also bring out our whiniest side, but that’s a story for over drinks).
There’s a good chance we’re all functioning day-to-day while also in a state of shock.
Many warn of a mental health reckoning as Covid and it’s family of moochers dig deep; and the world comes to a reckoning on the issue of inclusion and inequality.
When it comes to marketing, we have to accept that the customers we were marketing to back in December of 2019 are not the same as the ones we’re speaking to now, in bright, shiny-new 2022.
Routines and rituals have changed.
New ones have been formed.
The 35-year-old suburban mom or 45-year-old inner-city single guy? Trust us. They probably don’t care much anymore about what they were caring about 2 years ago.
And they CERTAINLY won’t be responsive to the same old marketing efforts.
While we can construct all the billboards in the world to tout the fact that we’ve done in 2 years what would have taken ten years, we must remember this.
Many people are not designed for this kind of rapid evolution!
In this loaded environment, while it might feel ill-advised to practice any kind of humour, especially when it’s virtual, and hard to read, i have some advice!!!
Read the room!
And if you plan to employ humour to lighten the mood in any way, remember this 👇
Resist the temptation to sling very obvious ‘ fr@t-boy-esqe jokes’
Here’s an example, a case study in what not to do, courtesy, Kraft Foods
Note: Kraft has not, in any way, consented to this study 😁
If you missed this particular shenanigan in which another “big behemoth brand royally scr3wed up,” allow us to lay it out for you.
Kraft (specifically KD Mac and Cheese) ruffled some feathers on National Noodle Day (specifically, October 6 of 2020), when they promoted a KD giveaway!
Yummy, creamy, mac and cheese goodness.Did we mention FREE???
All good, right?
Their tagline: Send NOODS.
Get it?? Send noods. Noods. Noodles. Wordplay and all that!
Pretty funny right? Erm, no. 😬😬😬
Moms – the KD brand-buying moms – were furious at the wink wink, nudge nudge of “send noods.”
Why was it particularly unfunny to the target?
Hint: it’s NOT the youngsters who EAT the stuff. It’s the Moms who BUY the stuff!
Bear in mind many parents are navigating the vast amount of time their kids spend online in the pandemic with some trepidation. Cyber stalking, safety, bullying… those are the monsters under their bed. The idea of ‘sending noods’ is just too effing far!
Stressed out, worried moms, already dealing with their kids’ lives being disrupted, did not need that cued into their thinking by the noodle brand who forgot for a minute who their audience is.
The Moms were PISSED!
Want to try edgy humour in your B2B marketing?
Comment first; before you author as a brand. Start perhaps by commenting on current events or hop on the latest trend?
You have to know your audience to decide where to start and what they might find funny, obvs.
Or get a free copy of my book to learn the a art of marketing humour a bit more 🤩
The Other EQ: How to kill boring marketing is in its final edit, nearly ready to go to publish. As a valued member of this list, if you’d like a free copy, drop me a note and you shall have it. In digital edition first, then in print.