Our society has become way too concerned with being seen as “offensive” and being “offended.”
It’s the passive aggressive buzzword of the 2000s, and propelled by social media, has had an impact on how far brands and startups are willing to go with funny, edgy content.
Creating fun, shareable content now involves walking through a maze of race, gender and sexual identity land mines, with bloggers, everyone with a voice on social media and the media, all looking for their slice of the attention with varying agendas.
Brands and startups trend towards being risk averse when it comes to pushing out videos that are funny, edgy and bordering on offensive, but that’s often where the attention goes.
They know this, but at the same time don’t want to chance alienating consumers, losing business or getting fired.
The flip side is that you create a video that offends some, turns heads, gets media attention (good and bad) and builds awareness of and interest in whatever it is you’re selling.
Now, before all you panty-in-a-bunch types get all offended, I’m not endorsing anything that’s damaging to specific individuals, groups of people or mean-spirited… unless, of course they desperately deserve it.
So, where’s that fine line? Trial and error. See how far you can push, and when you get slapped down, evaluate why and decide whether to pull back or double down.
FANS LIKE IT WHEN STARTUPS AND BRANDS TAKE CHANCES
Taking chances shows your fun side, an approach very consistent with social media and sharing.
When you can, let consumers feel like they’re in on the joke with you.
FUNNY GETS SHARED
Video is a shared experience and nobody likes to laugh alone, except creepy psychopaths… and me when I’m up too late working.
We love to share the funny, comment on it and get feedback.
That’s why people tell jokes.
EVERYONE LOVES CONFLICT AND CONTROVERSY
One of the key elements of entertainment is conflict, and nothing is more fun for people than to watch or participate in a controversy. We love to watch people argue. The quickest way to start a controversy is to be offensive. Smart marketers know this.
The trick is to be controversial without committing suicide. Take baby steps. Little, funny, edgy offensive, baby steps. If you need help with it give me a shout!
FUNNY LETS OFF STEAM
In a perfect world, comedy is supposed to diffuse conflict, bring us together and let us laugh at our shared experiences – cultural, emotional and even political.
Funny, edgy and offensive marketing videos and ads – done the right way – in the right spririt – still have a place in our future!