We at Blue Marble stand in defense of funny. We stand in defense of silly, slapstick and general shenanigans. And April Fools jokes.
But aren’t you in business communication? Shouldn’t you be retargeting your core competencies through holistic logistics? Or draining “synergy” of all meaning? Besides, B2B doesn’t do silly, right?
Well, given that most “business” jargon is already kind of funny (laughing with you, not at you) we believe humor absolutely has a place in B2B communication.
Humor helps educate by making a message memorable or getting people excited and energized about a new product. It adds some friendly spice to a company’s image by being more approachable and fun. Humor cuts through and disarms. In fact, humor is very personal. It’s a way to get close and make friends. Even big ol’ businesses need friends.
Over the course of our 26 years, we’ve used humor for clients in a variety of otherwise very serious industries and you know what? Great communication can be pretty funny — and consequently very memorable.
Updating a Brand Image: SAP Ariba
SAP is a pioneer and global leader in Enterprise Software. They’ve been around the block a time or two, and they’re also a longtime Blue Marble client. So, when some of the SAP Ariba sales teams complained that prospects were being drawn to “hipper”, more youthful competitors, the SAP Ariba marketing team took note. They wanted to update the company’s image and make it clear that being an established brand does not mean being out of touch.
That’s when they turned to the creative team at Blue Marble to develop a series of short video spots promoting the SAP Ariba Solutions in a fun and friendly way. We used humor to both empathize with clients’ procurement challenges and celebrate their SAP Ariba-enabled successes. The award-winning series was a hit and several more spots were added over the course of the next year.
From SNL skit to B2B video: Georgia-Pacific
It’s hard to believe, but industrial cleaning wipes don’t often find their way onto SNL. (I know, right?) But that didn’t stop us from borrowing a technique from a favorite, recurring SNL skit.
When Georgia-Pacific was introducing it’s eco-friendly, disposable Brawny ® Flax Cloths, they needed a pair of videos that would capture customers’ attention about a cleaning product commonly used in industrial shops and food service. Yawn.
But once again, humor saved the day. Using the camera’s point of view as a character in the video, we had fun with customers’ blatant exasperation for having to deal with a salesperson — especially a salesperson trying to sell them a new and improved cleaning cloth.
Can you guess which recurring skit was the inspiration for this Brawny ® Flax Cloth video? Extra points if you can name the guest host who always played the lead character.
Making the Message Schtick: Manhattan Associates
Manhattan Associates, a global leader in supply chain solutions, wanted to get their clients thinking about the sweeping changes happening very quickly in their industry. Armed with their Smartphones and the internet, customers know more about you and your inventory than ever before — and they don’t want to hear “no” for an answer.
We knew humor would get the job done. Just put a high-heeled shopper in a busy warehouse and turn her loose. Those are real forklift drivers trying to figure out how to handle a woman who insists on seeing if they have her shoe in a different color. (And that truck driver could have a second career with his double take.)
Manhattan knew they had a hit when a customer called to say his boss wanted to get a copy to share with the executive team. That’s the power of knowing how and when to use humor. You get a video that’s fun, informative, memorable and highly effective. Exactly what Manhattan needed.
Humor is hard. Blue Marble makes it easy.
Not every job calls for humor but sometimes a little fun is the most effective means of communication, even within B2B. Sometimes especially in B2B.
Whatever your objectives, we can help you get serious results. Give us a call at 404-982-9552 — we’re ready to brainstorm when you are.