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Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

On Advertising Humor

It pains me to no end how many commercials on TV try, try so very hard, to be funny, and fail utterly. I pay more attention to commercials then I should, and I think I have some advice for would-be advertising comedians.

You can’t be funny and pitch a product at the same time. That’s not to say you can’t do them both in the same commercial (all these ads try), but you can’t do them both simultaneously. Most commercials go for a comedy-ad-comedy approach. Since, as they say, comedy is all about timing. This doesn’t work. For example, which joke is funnier?

What did the snail say when he rode on the turtle’s back?
Weeeeeeee!

-or-

What did the snail say when he rode on the turtle’s back?
I just found this great website, where you can do all this cool stuff.
Oh, by the way, he said Weeeeeee!

Whether or not you think that’s funny (it is from a certain high school chem teacher), the former is clearly more funny. The mid-joke pitch does not work.

Awkward humor is hard. You know the sort of joke I mean, where a situation is so awkward that it is funny. When it’s done well, this can be really funny, but even among comedians its hard to do well. Among amateurish advertisers it’s near impossible. (Add in a pitch in the middle of the joke, and you have definitely ruined it) Awkward commercials don’t do much to sell me your product.

Homemade commercials aren’t funny. If you’re trying to be funny in a homemade commercial, STOP. You have already made one huge mistake – making a homemade commercial – and you are about to compound it further. We might laugh, but we will be laughing at you, not with you, and it will not attract our business.

Does this all mean that comedy must be entirely banished from advertising? No! I wish more people would put humor in their ads. However, it has to be done right. Doing it right goes back to the first rule: you can’t pitch and humor at the same time.

Do them separately.

I think Comcast (whether or not I like their company, which is another post altogether) has it right. Like this classic.

Stupid? Yes. Funny. I think so. And the pitch doesn’t get in the way, though the humor does get my attention. Right on.

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On Graphic Design

Having done graphic design, even for a company which respected my opinion far beyond my experience, I have to say that this video is spot on.

I know you can’t please all the people all the time, but thats what you have to try to do. It usually falls short of it’s potential.

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A Little Giggle For You

For those who aren’t familiar with it, 4chan is an English language image board. In short, a bunch of anonymous people posting pictures of anything and everything.

Yeah, it gets a little nasty, and a little rude, but mostly it just lolz.

Here’s a pretty good taste of it.

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