Facing Your Fears:
On September 29, 2001, Rudy Giuliani proved why he was America’s Mayor. Appearing on Saturday Night Live’s cold open, Giuliani responded to Lorne Michael’s question if it was appropriate to be funny 18 days removed from the city and nation’s catastrophe (9/11) on a TV show that is emblematic of the city. Giuliani’s response, “Why start now?” Fast forward 19 years later, it is unfortunate that the country is unable to find light moments of reprieve as we have three tragedies happening concomitantly, with COVID-19, tens of millions unemployed, and national unrest on race relations.
Fear of Fun:
This story brings to mind the same fear that many small and independent businesses have about publicizing their work with either humor and/or animated explainer videos. There is uncertainty about being about to be taken seriously while having “fun” in advertising. The often unstated, but underlying fear is that there is an unresolvable chasm between “childish” and “professional.”
Arguments for Edutainment:
There are 3 key reasons that I would suggest small and independent businesses incorporate edutainment into their brand advertisement through animate explainer videos:
- Who makes buying decisions?
- Top Brands in the USA
- What is not working today
The primary reason that I think that small and independent businesses need to allow for fun in their advertising with animated explainer videos is that children are often the drivers of buying decisions. For independent firms consider dentist’s offices or veterinarians. Telling a story of how patients will leave triumphant because of extraordinary dental care or pet treatment could very well win over a child.
A second fact supporting the use of fun in advertising is the list of the most favored brands in the US.
- M&Ms – Walking, talking, CandyMan “Court Jesters” commercial stars since 1995 (https://www.businessinsider.com/the-story-of-the-mms-characters-2016-3).
- Band-Aid – Written in the 1970s by Barry Manilow (https://www.aaaa.org/timeline-event/america-gets-stuck-barry-manilows-stuck-band-aid-many/), the jingle “I am stuck on Band-Aids is still used today in many commercials. It usually plays over a storyline, as opposed to being the storyline.
- Ziplock – Ziplock represents numerous products, including Hefty, Kleenex, Swifter, and Clorox. Although I am not familiar with the ads for all of their brands, Hefty, Kleenex, and Swifter have all had light, funny adds.
The third consideration for adding humor and learning in small business and independent business advertisement is the current success rate. Consider the following from SJ insights…
U.S. consumers are exposed to over 5,000+ brands ids and ads daily… only 362 ads are seen daily… of those, 12 make an impression…
Out of every 30 ads each American consumer is seeing, one is making an impression:
The point here is that there is a definite race to get your customer’s attention. Many advertisers are trying to get it, and few are receiving it. If you are not using animated explainer videos, what is the downside to giving it a try?
In this article, I have tried to make a compelling case for small and independent businesses to use humor into their advertising messages through animated explainer videos. For those that choose this path, I see bright things in your future.