My agency / production company recently produced an animated video for a cool, functional, new product called Swoon – part scoop, part lip gloss applicator. Before that experience, I seldom equated beauty or cosmetics marketing with comedy, but rather pouty lipped stick figures stalking a runway amidst a barrage of camera flashes.
Probably the closest I got to comedy is when one of the models had a heel malfunction and took a topple. I don’t want to see anyone get hurt, but I do love me some physical comedy.
Well here’s how you do it:
- Set up the consumer problem / what’s the challenge?
- Create an amusing story to explain it
- Deliver a sitcom-like conflict for comedic effect
- Get as edgy as you can
- Use good natured violence if possible
- Let the consumer know how to buy the product! – most important!!
- Show two girls kissing awkwardly at the end, with a creepy accountant lurking (optional)
So, the answer is yes! The typical beauty / cosmetics / fashion spot is about as compelling and original as the typical car spot with the obligatory shots of the car making a hairpin turn against a scenic background, or sitting in a perfect soundstage with perfect lighting. All cars can make hairpin turns against scenic backgrounds – they can even do it in slow motion. They can even have happy families riding in them.
And as an angry, self-satisfying non sequitur rant – when did blatant TV and radio fueled car promotions become sales “events?” An event is something fun that you go to – like a picnic or a parade and there’s cotton candy.
Have you ever heard of a “Broccoli Sales Event” at your local Ralph’s? No it’s just “broccoli is on sale.” There’s no freaking “event” about it. That would be silly, strange and creepy.
Or how about the “Acorn Squash to Remember” event where you wrap a squash in a red bow and leave it for your spouse in a snow covered driveway so she can look out he window and see it on Christmas morning? I don’t know, Maybe she’d be happy. She could make squash for the family.
And WTF? how many spouses are running around buying each other $40,000 cars as a surprise? Most couple I know discuss these things first.
Bottom line, there’s room for comedy in every type of marketing. People love to be entertained and they love to buy things, so if you can mix comedy and entertainment with solid messaging, you’ll sell product – AND – you’ll encourage organic sharing of the videos and messaging, leading to more sales.