Don’t Misjudge the Likeability of Humor

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Group of people smiling and having fun looking at iPhone

“Where’s the beef?”

Some of you may not know this classic 1980s catchphrase from Wendy’s. So, let’s try another one:

“Dilly dilly!”

Now I’ve captured the rest of our reader’s attention.

From the loveable old lady who would storm drive-thru counters asking for more beef and less bun, to the more recent Bud Light commercial set in medieval times where a nonsense word evokes playful excitement for a frosty brew, humor plays a major role in these brands. In a world of noisy media messages, something unconventional allows our brains to switch to something more enjoyable.

The way we interact with brands is much the same way we interact with personal relationships. We gravitate toward brands that have a balance of warmth and competence. People say that they want a sense of humor in a mate. When brands have a sense of playfulness and laughter, it’s not absurd that we often gravitate toward those brands.

However, credit unions and community banks shy away from marketing humor because they fear consumers won’t laugh at their jokes, or worse… be offended by it. However, if people hate to be sold but they love to buy, being fun or funny in advertising might just be the best medicine for your financial institution.

Make no mistake, we’re not talking about putting shades on a piggy bank for a vacation loan and calling it a day. That’s cute, but it’s not witty. Here are three tips for making something boring into something that is uproarious:

Tell it with a KISS. – KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. When you consider, “Where’s the Beef?” or “Dilly Dilly,” these spots are simple but memorable. Studies have shown that people have an attention span of eight seconds – one second shorter than the goldfish.

Speak with an edge. – The Wendy’s spot had comedic friction. Anheuser-Bush, like so many of their ads (remember Whassup?), is affectionate and cheerful with their medieval ads. The Quaker Oats brand recently announced a nationwide contest search for a brand new Mikey from its 1972 Life cereal campaign. That classic commercial touched us in so many ways, from dietary behavior to family conflict within the kitchen.

You can’t reach everyone. – A 2018 survey from Clutch says 53% of consumers are more likely to remember an ad if it is funny. However, if a comedian was worried about upsetting their audience, they would never take the stage. To quote Mark Twain, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Don’t let fear hold you back.

In fact, the more recent spots for Bud Light sheds a light on the beermaker not using corn syrup, unlike their competitors. Not only has MillerCoors responded, but corn farmers, have also pushed back. How did Bud Light respond? “Yeeeesh! That escalated quickly,” they said on Twitter. “In the Bud Light Kingdom, we love corn too! Corn on the cob, cornbread, popcorn – we just don’t brew with the syrup.”

Humor can be used to market your banking products, to separate you from the big banks or to spotlight how your credit union or bank is remarkably different. Will you hold back, or are you ready to make us laugh? To that, I say to you… “Dilly dilly!”

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Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
 
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
 
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Living life by his motto to “Do good even if the world is unfair,” Dexter would also advise his younger self, “It’s hard, but you’re doing good!” Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche

Copywriter

Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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