Think about your job, your town, your children, your spouse. Do you stick around because they are all merely agreeable? Golly, I hope not. I’d like to think that your job is gratifying, your town is thriving, your children are cute and your spouse is… well… hot.
Let’s be real. We are not attracted to the mundane. We are all human on a pursuit of happiness and are hard-wired with a natural rewards system. Every day we encounter triggers that activate the dopamine in the frontal lobe of our brains. We love our smartphones because each time we tap the screen there may be a payoff with a new message, an email, a story, a tweet or a “like.”
We know the power of anticipation. We get hooked by a mysterious message or a cliffhanger and urn to know more. Thus, advertising becomes more of a science where there is a hook that will draw attention and cause a response.
What doesn’t change our perception, however, is an advertisement for an auto loan featuring yet another soccer mom dangling car keys out the window. Wearisome stock images are utterly unscientific for credit unions or community banks. And yet, our industry uses them again and again.
Spontaneity breeds curiosity. GEICO is notorious for it. In each spot, you are captivated by an eccentric story before you are told, “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.”
Most recently, I was captivated by “Benny and Lenny” (watch it below). Lenny, a stressed out, red-headed ventriloquist dummy wanders the streets looking for his matching big-haired puppeteer, Benny. At the sight of his partner getting a high and tight haircut at Great Clips, panicked Lenny faints.
It was peculiar, funny and captured my attention. Using humor in your marketing is a great way to grab and keep an audience’s attention.
If larger banks enforce ridiculous conditions, use absurd situations for laughs. If your online banking is incredible, a highbrow one-liner can easily make your point. If people don’t understand the value of your low rates, perhaps poke fun at yourself. If every financial institution claims to have the best customer service, a little sarcasm can unmask the gobbledygook.
Pleasant is no longer tolerable. Ditch the tiresome headlines. Humor is a top attribute for successful social interaction, so why shouldn’t it be part of your marketing?
If you’re yearning to show more, do more, be more to your members, open yourself up.
Frank Allgood has more than 15 years of experience in every facet of public information and marketing communications. As Relationships & Results Leader for Your Marketing Co., he is responsible for strategic brand experiences and marketing initiatives for credit unions and community banks across the country. For branding or rebranding projects, call 864.326.8740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.