Seriously, B2B Can Be Funny

A funny thing happened on the way to work today… well, not really. But, there was an article I read recently in BtoB magazine that made me smile,“Using Comedy in B2B Advertising Offers a New Hook” by Matthew Schwartz.

Manufacturing, medical devices, logistics, industrial products, professional services, etc. are pretty serious businesses. But, is there an unwritten rule that touting cost savings, ROI, added value, and product features and benefits are the only means of reaching a business audience?

Even B2B audiences are comprised of people, says Tim Washer, senior marketing manager at Cisco Systems. “In a business context, making someone laugh is the most intimate connection you can make,” he adds.

Used appropriately, humor does make an impact.

When we suggested a comedic approach to a campaign about helping contractors better control their inventory, our client Barnett Pro Contractor Supplies was open to the idea. Two humorous online videos were produced that led to the microsite www.stopinventoryshrinkage.com.

A parody of the movie poster for "Mean Girls" featuring men dressed as women and advertising for screens
A parody of the movie poster for the "A Team", here called the "ADA Team" and advertising for the companies product

UltraTech, a provider of oil spill and environmental compliance products, infused humor in its 2012 Calendar featuring employees (including its founders) as characters in parody movie posters. With such movie titles as The Berm Supremacy, The Hang Overpack, and Pallets of the Caribbean the calendar was a hit among the company’s customers, distributors and partners. It even won a Silver ADDY Award from the local American Advertising Federation chapter.
So before planning your next B2B marketing piece or campaign, think about the most effective way to immediately and uniquely reach your audience… through their heads, hearts or funny bones.