How to Sell with Satire
This may come as a shocking revelation…
Are you sitting down?
Your target market is comprised of living tissue. It’s capable of thoughts and emotions. No matter how niche your market is, it’s unequivocally human.
No automatons or cyborgs here, your customers are human beings who have opinions, feelings, and want to enjoy life whenever possible.
Though we human beings are a big melting pot of emotions, opinions, and experiences, most of us share one similar trait…
We all like to laugh.
To explain, let’s get in to the nitty-gritty scientific stuff. A hearty chuckle every now and again releases endorphins, which make us happier in our surroundings.
What happens when someone laughs (in a good way) at something your business delivers? The same thing: they become happier with their surroundings. And to be a more effective business owner/marketer, it’s important to make people happy with you.
And so here’s my call to action: don’t be afraid to get satirical in your business. Here’s a few a good examples…
Pepsi Cola: The Friendly Competition Angle
Take a gander at this image. Even though the word Coca-Cola is not featured in the ad, most of us know what the red can signifies. Using this particular kind of satire, Pepsi states that their brand is better, but without getting nasty.
I think of the friendly competition angle as the anti-political commercial. Instead of accusing Coke of ruining the country, Pepsi bashes their opponent in a light-hearted way. The assertion: even the straw prefers the blue can over the red.
When it comes to setting yourself apart from competition, it’s best to be friendly about it. After all, nasty commercials that air on repeat during election time turn people off.
The best way to avoid making your market cringe with competitive marketing, is to take the satirical route. If you present something as an obvious joke, that’s when you make them online casino laugh and buy from you over the competition.
Lazer Helmets: The Eliminated Threat Angle
Authors often use metaphor and humor to help the audience deal with social issues. Think I’m kidding? Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a metaphor for venereal disease. Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein? The monster is a personification of the Industrial Revolution.
Ditto Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby, a book that helped prepare the audience for the debate over reproductive rights.
Sure, these are examples from the horror genre, and not all-out comedy, but the same principles apply.
In your marketing, a humorous approach makes threats less intimidating. Plus, the angle highlights the benefits of your product or service, so you won’t come across as being overly negative.
Lazer Helmets takes the Eliminated Threat Angle. With their helmets, you may end up hospitalized, but your head will be safe. (Pretty much, this marketing says that you’ll be alive at the end of the day.)
Since their market consists of cyclists and parents of cyclists, this marketing speaks volumes about the benefits. The fear of grave injury becomes negated.
If your business saves people from something, no matter what it is, you can take a page out of this playbook, and use satire to get your point across in a highly effective way.
Bud Light: The Human Thought Angle
The brain goes to strange places. Ever wonder why looking at a broomstick launches you down memory lane, where you suddenly recall your grandmother dancing to the Rolling Stones?
Here’s how this scenario thought manifests itself in your brain…
You walk into a room. You see the broom. You think about floors. You think about hardwood. You remember you really liked your grandmother’s hardwood. You wonder why you liked her flooring so much. You remember the creaks the floorboards made when she danced to Mick Jagger belting out “Paint it Black.”
Once again, the brain remains on a persistent journey 24/7. Eventually, your thoughts will make a pit stop in unusual places.
Bud Light knew that about their customers. That’s why they created the Real Men of Genius radio ads, which pondered on Zamboni drivers, toupee wearers, and the guy who shoots the tee shirt gun at sporting events.
Your customers have similar thoughts, trust me. And if they’re like 99.99999% of the population, they enjoy a good knee-slapper. So to get them to laugh (and buy) use The Human Thought Angle.
Here’s the point: satire sells.
Sure, there’s a lot of buying psychology behind satirical marketing, but in the end, the technique equates to people wanting to business with other people. We all like to laugh. So spread a little cheer to your customers, and you’ll be glad you did.
I write a lot about satirical marketing, and why it’s so effective. Share some of your favorite funny commercials in the comments, and we might feature your idea on a future blog.