No, this is not a political commentary.
This is serious stuff. Clowns have been taking a bad rap lately. Schools have sent warning letters home to parents; the President was even advised of the situation. Across the nation lurk strange and incredibly creepy clowns. And no one seems to be laughing. Do the clowns of today even bother to abide by the Eight Clown Commandments anymore?
In times like these, action needs to be taken. Where is Ronald? Where is Bozo?
Not to worry; we business owners, marketing folks and brand managers are at the ready. Let’s restore the good faith, and more importantly, the good humor to the clown effort. Everyone likes to laugh; and it seems like now we need levity now more than ever. Let’s market like a clown!
But using humor in marketing is something that many are still hesitant to try. It can seem unnatural, and can even backfire. But when done correctly, and even in small doses, humor in marketing can have a strong impact on your brand’s image.
Here are some tips on How to Market Like a Clown (not the creepy kind):
Make Folks Smile
Everything doesn’t have to be LOL funny; but think of ideas that bring a smile to your face. Find common ground between you and your audience and look for the humor or even the irony in the situation. Normally, implosion of a bridge doesn’t spawn much humor, but take a look at what happened when things don’t go as planned.
If there is a known “pain point” in your processes, or one that your product solves, highlight that. Make light of it if possible. But don’t go overboard. Humor is not appropriate in all instances.
Test your approach on team members and colleagues. Chances are if they find it humorous, so will your audience.
Tell A Story
Storytelling in marketing is almost an overused term; but that doesn’t make it less effective. If you can connect with your audience by way of an entertaining story, you will engage them and they will remember you. Now, if you can inject subtle humor with imagery, tone or colorful narrative, you will score even more points. A little bit of humor can go a long way.
Use Current Events
Newsjacking is the art of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story or pop cultural events and generating interest from that. Here are some of the more famous national newsjacking examples.
Better yet, here are some of our favorite local newsjacking examples (and yes, we may be biased):
For even more ways that being the class clown can improve your marketing, go here.
Be forewarned, you do have to proceed with caution when marketing like a clown. And remember these guidelines from Clowning 101:
- Fundamentally the clown’s (i.e. – the marketing) function is to make people smile or laugh.
- Have a focused character – a focused approach has a definite personality, and uses methods, apparel and other means to accentuate and strengthen that personality.
- Highlight your features and your personality by keeping it clean, bright, and comfortable.
Market like a clown and those that follow you will have some pretty big shoes to fill.