What makes things funny? Our own sense of humor isn’t always funny to the guy sitting next to us. So, let’s look at a few simple principles used in Improv to make your video funny to all of your audience!
First and foremost, there is TRUTH in COMEDY! The funny comes from the experiences we have all had in our lives. Think about sitcoms, why do they work? They take something so simple, like everyday life and exploit it. The ups and downs of dating and heartbreak or fighting for that perfect job, only to find out that it isn’t so perfect. But where does the comedy come from?
The funny comes from the unexpected. The moments of truth. It comes from showing not telling. We have all been there…the time in the grocery store when two people are having a conversation in public and you can’t help but listen, even though you know the topic should have probably been left at home…yeah that stuff.
So let’s take a look at this funny scenario….
We see two shadowy figures digging holes in a graveyard. It’s dark, but we can see that there’s a body behind them. It appears that they are covering up a murder! The scene is quite grim and creepy… so how is this funny? The car lights flicker on and we get a better look of the situation… only to reveal…two clowns? Okay, now this is way more terrifying, but their must be more to the story… so as we get closer, we overhear…
Clown 1:“Look Stan, all I’m saying is I’m sorry she left you. You deserve better!”
Clown 2:“You know Joe I just don’t understand, I did everything I could to make her happy.”
Clown 1:“Hey, you know, it’s okay if you want to cry. It’s just us brother.”
Clown 2: (in tears) “Life is just so unfair! But hey how’s the wife and kids?”
Clown 1: “They’re real good. Sally just started walking…”
The conversation continues as they are digging a shallow grave wearing their clown costumes. So, we know they are clowns, we know they are friends, and we know what happened…but they don’t have to tell us that they murdered this guy. We just know! If we focused on the body, or what happened the scene would drag on, the audience would get board with details and information that they don’t need.
This scenario leads us to the truth of comedy…Relatability!
Think about how you feel when you pop bubble wrap. Did that put a smile on your face just thinking about it? How about when you scoop peanut butter from a freshly open jar, yeah there’s that satisfaction face. See how easy it is to relate? All you have to do is capture a moment when someone has used your product in such a way that it brings a clear feeling to your audience.
Just remember that comedy is subjective, but so is being bored out of your seat. By using these tried and true principles of Improv Comedy, you can help your audience laugh at the unexpected, learn about your great product/service and keep them interested and wanting more.
So, let’s get out there and take a fresh approach to comedy, and whatever you do, if you see two clowns walking your way…RUN!
Teddy Roosevelt has been quoted many a time, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” And this goes especially for Marketing to Your Audience!
You see, you CAN begin your marketing by sharing your giant Pedigree* of Success, your giant Rolodex* of clients that come at your every beck and call, and your impressive collection of Vintage Star Wars action figures, boxed in mint condition. BUT THEY DON’T CARE!
Okay…maybe the Star Wars figures, I mean especially if they have that one Rare Boba Fett*…
My point being, don’t make your first impression with your audience ABOUT YOU. In fact, you may consider, minimizing the mention of “you” to the smallest amount possible. Your marketing NEEDS to be about THEM.
The Mom who is exhausted carrying around a giant purse that contains everything known on the periodic table of elements. She wants to know that you care about her and her plight, when you sell her your amazing, mega-organizational handbag.
Spend the time in your marketing, connecting with her. Show empathy for how hard it is to carry that overgrown purse. Use humor to help her have a chuckle about it because she knows how impossible it is to find that lip gloss when her chapped lips are screaming for moisture, and the kids are clawing their way to find a granola bar in there too. She will totally think to herself, “Been there done that!”
By doing this, you will establish a relationship with your audience, in this case the Moms of the world. Now, they’ll care to listen to YOU! You have their attention because you relate to each other, on an emotional level. You are selling a relationship BEFORE you sell a product or service. So now, proceed to show some of the cool features of this “Heavenly Handbag” and again relate those features to them.
On a side note, keep your features explanation brief. They don’t need to know the process of “cutting and stitching every nuanced detail” that you researched; they just want the HIGH LEVEL facts that relate to them. This will keep them EMOTIONALLY engaged in your marketing.
In the case that you do spend time talking about YOU, make sure it’s to show how you relate to them. The purpose of sharing this piece of you is to connect with them, and not to gloat about you or in any way make you seem superior. If you don’t connect with them, be on their level, share their emotions, they will see right through you and go elsewhere for a solution to their need.
So…QUICK 5 POINT RECAP
Marketing is about THEM
Sell a Relationship
NOW, get your groove on and practice that Electric Slide together! It’s all about the relationship, and your audience will respond to you once they know that you care about them.
*Pedigree – Pretty sure it’s some type of dog food.
*Rolodex – The Stone Age variety of a contact list on your smart phone. Geesh, writing all those cards sucked.
*Rare Boba Fett – A Boba Fett figure that was designed exclusively as a cereal box mail-in item in 1979. It was advertised with a Rocket firing backpack, but the actual production firing rocket was made stationary, as it was deemed a “choking hazard.” This figure is still highly sought after by collectors and has fetched upwards of 20K at auction.
THAT, my friends, is the power and charm of simplified marketing.
2 words and your mind has been hijacked by a catchy jingle, an image of two bubbly tablets dropping into a glass of crystal clear H20 and possibly a pale faced, indigestion-plagued person sitting next to their half eaten deep dish pizza… about to toss their simmering seltzer salvation down their gullet.
Just 2 words and without thinking, you’ve recalled a problem that can be solved by the product. BRILLIANT.
So let’s take it wayyyyy back to marketing meetings of yesteryear.
It’s probable that at some point the indigestion big-wigs of this company met with the advertising crew and gave an hour long in-depth display of why these dissolvable tablets work. Charts, product testing, scientific results and guarantees were no doubt tossed around during a monumental data-packed discussion that would surely convince even the most discriminating consumer of its usefulness… so why didn’t Alka-Seltzer go with:
“Sodium bicarbonate can be used to treat heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux by reacting with and neutralizing excess stomach acid through effervescent tablets that contain three active ingredients, aspirin, sodium hydrogen carbonate and citric acid. Also, aspirin belongs to a group of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It works by blocking the action of an enzyme in the body called cyclo-oxygenase and oh what a relief it is!” as their jingle???
Because they understood that ENTERTAINMENT can be more valuable than the over-stimulation of EDUCATING your audience to death.
Though this product is complex and scientifically proven, the message is simple.
Bottom line… if your stomach hurts, plop-fizz your way to relief.
Problem. Solution. That’s all they need to know.
Close your eyes… (wait, actually don’t because I still need you to read my words) IMAGINE that you’re taking your target-audience out on a blind date.
You put on your best suit, douse yourself with high-end cologne and drive to that fancy corner steakhouse, eager to meet your new muse.
Do you sit across the table from this beautiful stranger, rub your sweaty palms together and then begin reciting every mundane moment of your life so that she can fully appreciate each and every morsel of the man that you have been, currently are and ever hope to be???
(Good luck getting second date.)
But what if you tried courting your audience instead?
What does she need? Why did she agree to this date?
Dinner, companionship and connection… not the details of last week’s wart removal… so take a deep breath and give her just enough of what she needs to get her to agree to date #2.
So what’s the equivalent of a 2nd date in the world of marketing?
Google searches. Leads. Phone calls. Emails. Consultations.
You’ve gotta spark enough interest to get some action from your call to action and that’s done by making sure your message is simple, memorable and easily absorbed into the viewer’s mind.
The more you can narrow in on the meat & potatoes of your message or the sweet & simple essence of your service and stop trying to push your beloved information watermelons through human attention span-keyholes…
The more you’ll start seeing your efforts convert into genuine, profitable results.
Like these campaigns:
Got Milk? (Totally makes you thirsty.)
Maybe She’s Born With It? (Fake your natural beauty.)
Give Me A Break. (Who in their right mind would refuse a chocolate break or a piece of broken chocolate?)
The Breakfast of Champions. (Cereal box heroes.)
The Best A Man Can Get. (Smooth, manly jawlines.)
Melts In Your Mouth Not In Your Hand.
(This is a lie, but I still buy/eat them.)
I Want My BabyBack-BabyBack-BabyBack-BabyBack. (You just sang, again… didn’t ya?)
Double The Pleasure, Double The Fun. (Hot twins. Who cares what they’re selling.)
Dilly Dilly. (Nothing to do with beer. Sometimes simple & stupid = memorable.)
When done right, marketing with simple, clever videos can be powerful enough to make your message last a lifetime (just ask the plop-plop peeps)… and Ydraw can help you do just that, oh what relief it is!
Everyone wants a viral video. In fact, that’s what most of our clients ask for when they come to us. But, when it’s time to look at our Art Styles page – many clients panic and think,
“What if I choose the wrong one?”
That’s why we are going to talk about the difference that art choice can make to your video and a few things to think about when choosing yours. Because although we pride ourselves on working with the most talented artists in the industry – that doesn’t mean that every one of them is the best choice for your project.
Let me tell you a short story.
Once upon a time, a client named Booz Allen came to us for their first whiteboard animation video. They are a serious, respected firm with very serious, important clients. Even though this video was internal, they wanted it to be serious, professional, and aspirational.
But, there was just one thing.
Their Scriptwriter had a gut instinct – what if we juxtaposed the informational tone of the script with a fun, unexpected art style like Calvin & Hobbes to create a surprise effect?
Well, Booz Allen decided to go with Semi-Realistic instead. Here’s the first scene from the first set of images delivered by their choice of artist:
This works. It gets the job done. However, Booz Allen isn’t in the business of just getting the job done. So, they made the command decision to switch artists (for a small fee).
Here’s the first scene again – with the exact same script – rendered in the Calvin & Hobbes style:
Now THAT’s memorable!
Just using a different art style brings the script to life in a completely new way.
In fact, this style was such a huge hit –they have made dozens of videos since in this style.
This is a perfect example of how the right art style can truly elevate a project.
So, what should you consider when choosing the art style for your project?
Here are 3 things to consider:
What is the tone of your script – what feelings does the voiceover evoke? And, what do you want the mood to be of your video? Some examples might by light-hearted and humorous. Other scripts are heavy, covering more serious subject matter. Or, maybe you just want an approachable, informational tone. For example, this video we made for Volunteers of America was designed to be beautiful, moving and inspiring. Using our YPaint style, the images are digitally revealed and we incorporated an animated fine line connecting them to support this vision:
ELEMENT OF SURPRISE:
Now, just because your tone and mood are serious – doesn’t mean your art style has to be! By using an unexpected pairing, you create the element of surprise! Examples of this could be the Booz Allen video – which pairs a fun, youthful art style with serious internal subject matter. Or, take a look at this video for the marketing company, Ribyt. They used color to create an element of surprise, by staying all B&W except for their brands green.
Another way to create an element of surprise is to use a mixed-media approach, by combining different types of video footage. In this case, Vital Smarts used a mixture of live video and whiteboard animation:
Sometimes the right art style is the one that will appeal most to your audience.
Ask yourself, “What would my target consumer want to see?”
After all, you’re making this video for them, right?
That’s exactly what our client, Wilson Electronics, had in mind when we created this short, one-scene video in our Cartoony style to capture the feeling that people have when they realize their cell phone signal hasn’t been working:
Be willing to think outside the box when choosing an artist!
The right art style will pair perfectly with your script and grab the attention of your audience.
We love working with our clients to discuss options, send samples, and help guide you to choosing the perfect art style for your project.
It’s a given that not all information is going to have people on the edge of their seats, especially when it comes to business content. Ideas, concepts and new products need and deserve exposure for sure, and video is a great way to make it happen.
But seriously..where is the logic behind investing time and money intosomething with no entertainment value whatsoever–even if it happens to be informative? At best, people are forced to watch and try to digest it, and worst case, it gets completely ignored and/or even criticized. Boring videos can be a waste of your viewers’ and your time.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes.
Think about your life. Think about your typical routine from how you feel when your alarm clock goes off, to getting up and ready, to starting work whether you work in an office, from home, or on the road. Think about what you do and where your mind and mood are at different times throughout the day.
Now think about how you feel when you take a quick break to check your phone and surf the web, Facebook or YouTube. What kinds of things catch your attention and what will you skip over?
Finally, think of yourself at the end of the day. How does your brain feel? What do you want to think about and what do you want to avoid? Chances are, the last thing you want to do as you unwind is sit and watch some boring video explaining…anything. In fact, if you come across dry information not only are you likely to quickly move past it, you might also be slightly annoyed by it.
And yet, they keep getting produced. They’re everywhere! From promoting the latest scientific wonder of a supplement to hit the shelves to teaching employees about harassment policies, to rounding up support for a cause that will save the world; these important, informative and boring videos are being created, not watched…and…messages….are….getting…lost!
We all know that video is by far one of the best ways to market a product or idea. People remember more when visual is combined with audio, so yes, please, make videos and use them to put your point across. Just be sure those videos are attention-grabbing so any time and money you invest into them doesn’t go down the drain.
Entertaining Videos Can Make You Money
I get it; there are some pieces of critical information that just aren’t that interesting but can be if you present them the right way. Entertaining marketing and corporate videos can definitely make you money!
Marketing: It’s obvious how an entertaining video can help sell just about anything. Marketing is all about catching and keeping the attention of clients or potential clients as a message is delivered. With all the competition out there, you’ve got to be creative to get noticed!
Corporate: How can corporate videos be profitable? Good guestion. They’re necessary and people generally get paid to watch them. Step one is getting colleagues and/or staff to watch the video. Step two is keeping them engaged so they actually remember what it’s all about.
If your training videos are interesting enough, your employees will pay attention, remember what they’ve been taught and actually act on it. If they make your employees smile or laugh–even better! Happy employees who know what they’re doing, love their jobs and think their company is cool, work harder by default. When they work harder, production goes up and you make more money.
If your concept catches your colleagues’ attention you’re more likely to get their support. More support means more recognition and in most cases more recognition leads to…you guessed it…more money.
Ydraw Can Take the Boring Out of Boring Videos
Ydraw videos are well known for their high-quality art and quirky storylines that keep audiences engaged. It’s no secret that we pride ourselves on the effectiveness of our entertaining videos.
As our client, we ask that you be open to our suggestions as we work together to make sure your audience isn’t bored. That way we can deliver an entertaining, memorable share-worthy video that will help your company produce amazing results and increased revenue.
Thank you for reading Why Businesses Create Boring Videos!