This is No Joke – How Humour Can Help B2B Marketers Connect With Their Audience 

  • Gopal Kishore

There were two cows in a field. One said “moo”, the other one said, “I was going to say that!”

Ok, maybe that’s not as funny as I initially thought, but in a world of me-too marketing, how can B2B marketing stand out?

In an earlier post, we spoke about how marketers can connect emotionally with their audience by creating a persona and emphasising with their buying journey. In this post, we see how to B2B marketers can use humour to engage their audience.

Do you like being hugged? Of course. It is simply because of that crazy hormone called Dopamine, which is also released when someone laughs. So, let’s find out how you can get some free hugs humour in your staid B2B campaigns.

A Humorous Video to Introduce Your Product

Take a look at the mission statement of ON24 – “Helping companies generate pipeline with engagement driven webinars and video content that deliver better leads.” There are a lot of keywords in there and though it has all the right terms, it seems well – a little corporate.

However, their video “This is how you Webinar” is anything but corporate. See for yourself.

While videos are the first channel which comes to mind when we are considering adding humour to marketing activities, B2B marketers can experiment with humour across the entire gamut of content formats such as social media, webinars, landing pages, blogs and even email and call to actions. Let us consider a few more examples.

Humorous Social Media That Drives the Message Home

Business fulfills each and every one of them iStock by Getty Images and New Regency 20th Century Fox launch unique series of classic corporate stock photos featuring the stars of Unfinished Business

 All of us in the marketing industry have a love-hate relationship with stock images. While the butt of many jokes in themselves, using stock images is a sure shot way to NOT add humour to your campaign. However, this campaign by  iStock by Getty Images created a set of stock photos featuring Vaughn along with co-stars Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco and others from the movie Unfinished Business. Those familiar faces in the corporate world of handshakes, suits and mixed gender and race group photos are sure to put a smile on your face.

Getting People to Like your Corporate Blog

If Getty’s campaign was about funny images, here is a look at Basecamp (our lifeline at GetIT) blog. Aptly named Signal Vs Noise, it claims to publish strong opinions and shared thoughts on design, business, and tech – by the makers (and friends) of Basecamp. How strong an opinion?

In a post titled “Microsoft, I forgive you” – David Heinemeier Hansson, Founder & CTO at Basecamp writes “There’s no more wolf any more. It’s more like a puppy. Or a Golden Retriever at best. Nobody is afraid of Microsoft. So since they can’t rule the roost through fear, they’re trying the long route of — let’s not get ahead of ourselves and kid about LOVE — intrigue. And frankly some hope.

This earnest and frank piece by the top leadership of a company whose target audience is primarily a B2B audience is a reflection of their other posts and how a company blog can endear itself to its audience.

Get Some Smiles Out of your CTA

NatureBox Facebook ADWe have read in our digital marketing certification courses on how the CTA should be an action verb to entice people to click. But what happens if we try some humour to reduce anxiety, communicate value and create urgency at the same time? Like this Facebook advertisement of NatureBox which understands its audience and offers an alternative to binge snacking.

You Never Write! Humorous Emails Done Right

Sungard Humouros Email Despite the rise of social media and a multitude of other channels, B2B email marketing driven by relevant content continues to be king. Adding a touch of humour can make your email clickthrough rates soar through the roof if done right. Check out this email campaign by Sungard which uses humour effectively to introduce their rebranding.

The email ends with “Every dog has its day. We’re hoping you’ll come back and make ours – with “Let Us Out of the Doghouse” as the call to action.

An Unusual Recruitment Ad

Most job descriptions and interviews are not considered exciting or unusual by any measure. However, Heineken came up with a brilliant interactive campaign which invites potential recruits to respond to 12 questions, to answer in three to five seconds. Based on the Enneagram model, the results give you a personal profile, which must be sent along with their résumé on LinkedIn when applying for the job at Heineken. Heineken LinkedIn Ad

See for yourself  – Welcome to what we like to call The Interview. Learn about the HEINEKEN Company and about yourself. Do you have what it takes? Learn a craft, learn a trade.

And if you are still reading, here are more examples that are sure to bring a chuckle.

This hilarious spot from Adobe shows us what can go wrong when we’re not paying attention to analytics. An overeager but undereducated encyclopaedia CEO goes a little crazy when his company sees a spike in online orders.

The Perfect Gift for Valentine’s Day, from Cisco. A humorous video for a B2B product launch.  

Do let us know more examples of excellent humorous B2B campaigns that you have come across.

Powered by: GetIT – B2B Tech / IT / Telco Marketing Agency : Singapore, India, Malaysia, APAC


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October 28, 2017


In love like in business, humour is key.