One night, my cousin and I were playing an online game called Cake Mania, which involved strategy, quick-thinking, and the ability to make multi-tiered heart shaped cakes for fairy tale characters. I am very good at this game. So naturally, I made the mistake of getting a little too cocky and calling myself “Cake Master,” since I performed much better than my cousin.

She decided to play a little prank on the cocky Cake Master. The next day, when I woke up for work (because yes, we were in-fact in our 20’s when this happened), she had written “Cake Master” on my board, the fridge, and even on my lunch box. Do you think I’ll forget this experience? Not likely.

They always say people buy with emotion, and humor is one of them.

 I understand that some businesses, especially in the eco niche, have a very serious message and product. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little fun.

People connect with humor, people share humor, and the good news is that you don’t have to be a professional comedian to be funny.

Take for example REI, an outdoor living brand who takes sustainability and environmental stewardship seriously. They tapped into their funny bone and brought humor into a very successful social media campaign.

On April Fool’s Day, they “released” a line of kitten outdoor gear – from tiny boots to a feline-fitting bandana. 

A harmless “prank” on your consumers like this is a great way to engage with them and show that even if you’re a larger company, you can be relatable.

Of course, you don’t have to be a big corporation with big marketing money to tap into the humor side of your business.

You can do something as simple as share and create memes.

You can always count on Zero Plastic (@zeroxplastic), for example, who brings fun to the zero waste conversation. 

But be warned – it’s important when you’re planning comedic campaigning to be aware of the timing and the audience – as with all content. 

You can easily damage your brand’s reputation if you share something that is deemed offensive. Also watch for tone – you may be attempting sarcasm and failing at it, which could cause some confusion and agitation with your audience.

Don’t worry about if your audience thinks what you’re doing is funny or not – they’ll tell you. As long as you’re careful, there’s no harm in trying out your company’s comedic voice. 

Your success in igniting the funny bones of your audience depends on your company’s boldness and your team’s willingness to dedicate some time to creative, comedic campaigning.

Especially for eco-conscious entrepreneurs, it can be easy to get stuck in the negatives, as our field has serious consequences. But, I think that many brands will be surprised that when they dip their toes into absurdity, seriously positive results can come out.

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One thought on “Turning Chuckles into Conversions – how online businesses can use humor

  1. Great read that brought a few smiles and one big grin to my face. Thanks for loving Mother Earth. Keep up the great work.

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