Ep.32 – Adding Humour To Your Marketing With Adam Hunt

In today’s episode, we’re talking with Adam Hunt, from White Label Comedy. Being funny isn’t always easy. We all know that one guy who’s really funny, or sometimes we think we’re funny and everyone else just “doesn’t get your sense of humour“.

But for brands and businesses online, it can be very hard to be funny online and make a successful campaign out of it. Enter Adam and his hive mind of comedy geniuses.

We talk about how the hive-mind works, and how Adam has brought together a group of genuinely funny writers to help businesses and brands take advantage of the attention war that is social media.

Standing out online can often be a challenge, and hitting the right note by making somebody laugh can have a huge impact. Hope you enjoy the episode as much as we did. Enjoy!

Please subscribe, rate and review, and find us @AllAboutDigMar on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram to share your thoughts.

Get Social About It

Do you think you’re funny? Funny how? Like a clown? Come listen to Adam Hunt from @WhiteLabelCom and @justchrisbruno on the @AllAboutDigMar #podcast:

Stuff We Mentioned

You can find Adam and his Hive-mind of funny people using the links below:

Transcript

Chris Bruno 0:01
Welcome to the all about digital marketing podcast, the show all about digital marketing,

Adam Hunt 0:07
digital marketing, digital marketing,

Chris Bruno 0:10
digital marketing, brought to you by social Inc. digital marketing agency specialising in social media and content marketing for great brands and forward thinking SMEs. I’m your host, Chris Bruno. And as always, we’re here to bring you the most actionable tips, tricks, tools and insights to help you achieve more when it comes to your digital marketing. Subscribe to the show. And be sure to share with a friend if you found something useful or interesting. You can find all the show notes and more information on www dot all about digital marketing.co.uk.

Adam hunt, thank you very much for joining me today.

Adam Hunt 0:56
Thanks for having me. Pleasure to be here.

Chris Bruno 0:58
I’m really looking forward to this conversation. And obviously, that’s because I know what you do. And not everybody who’s listening to this does yet. But for everybody that’s listening, can you give a little bit of a heads up a little bit of the elevator pitch? Who are you? What do you do? And then we can get right into it?

Adam Hunt 1:12
Sure, sure, sure. So I’m the creative director of an unusual company called white label comedy. So we’re basically a creative agency that’s powered by what I call a hive mind of comedy writers and advertising creatives. And we exist purely to make funny stuff for brands and TV shows. So yeah, that’s in a nutshell, that’s us. There’s much more to it. But that’s, that’s the kind of top line pictures are where

Chris Bruno 1:37
I like it. And I’m liking the already I’m liking the fact that it’s hive mind driven. And so I think for everybody who’s listening, and for anyone who’s kind of a little bit confused about that, tell us a little bit more about how that works and what that actually means internally.

Adam Hunt 1:49
What what that actually means is that we so we run our projects remotely, so rather than rather than having, you know, I mean, I’m sat here in the corner of my flat in Brixton, which doubles up as my office. And we don’t have a huge team here constantly what we do have is the best comedy writers I’ve ever worked with in my career is kind of half TV half advertising. So it’s the best comedy writer metalman TV, and my favourite creatives from my time in advertising. They work together on demand online, through our alumni writers room that we’ve built. And so that when there’s a brief, they come together, and they collaborate, and honestly, like, I mean, I don’t think I really was really thinking about it much about the name of the hive mind, as you know, and there’s reference points when we started calling it that, but it’s exactly that it’s, you know, it isn’t. We could have run this, this company run run our projects in a number of different ways, with the same expertise. But what we have is all of these brilliantly creative funny people feeding into a single melting pot. And not only do you get their own their own ideas, but the ideas snowball and they you know, they can buy and live in the room. And it’s really it’s really fun watching that hive mind, which the only way I can describe it now go from a brief to the finished product, you know, also, super quickly. And I think one of the reasons why I love it as well is it means that we can have, you know, genuinely the best brains involved, you know, comedy writers are expensive, they’re often hard to book, but they do have downtime. So by having a big roster of big guns, and you know, and some lucky up and comers, but they, you know, they all get a notification when we get a new briefing, they can either jump in or they they don’t have to, it means that we’ve got the best talent available at any given time. And yeah, we can we can put them put them to work in a in a number of ways. It’s a lot of fun.

Chris Bruno 3:44
The old proverb was many hands make light work, and I’m guessing then from from that sort of a system, you’re bringing together a load of people and actually it probably makes things funnier, because you’re already mentioning like the snowball effect. So I’m guessing one idea sort of very quickly evolves and turns into another idea or knock on idea or something else, and you end up with this really create creative flow and creative process that’s happening. And that’s got to be amazing to watch from from your side as well.

Adam Hunt 4:09
Yeah, you really do. And I think, because of what we’re trying to do here, so, you know, it’s, it’s hard enough to write jokes, and I’m causing the table. I’m not a comedy writer, I just happen to have a lot of them in my back pocket. But it’s hard enough to write jokes for you. Imagine also trying to write jokes that position a brand as the hero without losing any of that, that punch. That’s a hard task as well. So it’s not easy. And it’s the sort of thing that, you know, I’ve got clients that have hired individual comedy writers and the boss, you guys, some of the guys that actually work with us who have, you know, amazing portfolios, really, really solid credentials, but if they don’t quite time with a particular brand or particular brief, it’s wasted money and you’re wasting money before you’ve seen it. Whereas with us, it’s there’s a really interesting, there’s always a moment so when I put a new brief into the writers room, there’s For the first maybe half an hour or so of people throwing their ideas, and also, I don’t know, you know, and they’re missing the point that we need to step in here. And then some some something happens and it just it clicks, it clicks, someone gets something that works and everyone’s Oh, now I see. And then it just like, like, say it snowballs. I can walk away, come back in a day, or come back in an hour, depending on the you know, the deadline we’ve got, and there’s gold, there’s gold sitting there to be to be sifted off. And it’s Yeah, it’s a joy to watch.

Chris Bruno 5:29
That sounds awesome. Okay, so let’s talk a little bit more than actually about the the final product, who it’s for what it does, and why you think it’s such an important part. So obviously, social media content creation, everybody knows that. That’s a huge, huge opportunity still today. You’re all about putting the comedy into that. So explain a little bit about how you got into to that level or to that sort of side and that speciality and also what the benefits are to the brand.

Adam Hunt 5:55
Yeah, well, I think you know what, let’s start with what the benefits are because I think you’ll you’ll know and, you know, I know you you’ve discussed on this podcast a number of times how there are so many brands who are just sort of slavish, Lee putting out content without any kind of objective without any kind of understanding of what they’re trying to do with friendship. And also, without any real met you messaging that so much of the content that brands put out is literally just them announcing their messaging and wondering why have their 3.3 million followers only 55 people engaged in any way? You know, there are lots of clueless brands out there. And the reason that isn’t working, you know, all right. sounds obvious. But But the reason I see that’s not working, is we’re all so savvy, we’re so used to being sold to that, if anything, even comes close to looking like a sales message, unless we’re already pre sold and we want to buy it, we switch off we ignore it. So if you put out content that just says hey, come and buy this, please, we will ignore you. So you need to find a way to bring our guard down and what is the best way to bring someone got someone’s guard down. You make them laugh. I mean, you know that there’s there’s research This, I won’t go into that actually shows that if someone is against a brand is if someone if someone has an unfavourable opinion of the brand, comedy content humorous content can bring their guard down, and then bring their opinion of that brand back up to the point where that you know, it can recover. So, there’s lots lots of it to begin with there. But I think the main thing is, you can make people pay attention for long enough to absorb your message, and then they’ll do what you want them to do, or at least, you know, statistically more of them will do will do. And the other thing is, even if even if you put out a compelling Say, say you’ve got an ad that really, really engages with me, tickles me ticks all my boxes, and I buy whatever you’re selling, like, you know, even if it says Of course I buy a car, you’ve not given me any motivation to share it so that you know if it’s organic, that stops with me, so that’s the end of it. Whereas if you as well as selling me a car, you make me laugh. I might share it, or if you give me a kind of you know that so me motivation, I might share it too. And so it’s, it’s, it’s just breathing Fresh Life into what would otherwise stop dead when it when it hits a person. And I think that that’s why it’s so valuable. So I think why we are so popular with our clients is no one really has what I say no one knows some people do great but you know the clients that come sizes that they know they need to be content out, they just have no idea how to make it interesting. You know, they’ve, they’ve spent a year just broadcasting their brand message they’ve run out of things to say and they need something new. And so that’s the problem we can solve even before you get around to the idea that it’s going to travel further be more effective and actually turn your audience into fans rather than just people you’re trying to sell to.

Chris Bruno 8:48
There’s a couple of things that you’ve said and I couldn’t agree more with you. There first one is I’m still amazed by the number of brands that I meet who are doing social media creating content for the sake of it is often And it’s it’s really upsetting. You know, we’ve spoken to brands in tech and in various industries. And they’ve been spending thousands of pounds a month on agencies, I use a inverted commas when I say agencies for that pit, whereby these agencies have been creating social media posts, blog articles, whatever. And I’ve said, Okay, well, cool, what were the goals? What were the objectives? And what sort of results were you getting? And the room invariably go silent? And people go, what do you mean results and objectives and goals? And what what are you talking about? So I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make. If you don’t have some form of a strategy, or some form of a goal that you’re working towards, then why bother doing it at all? And the second thing that I wanted to bring up was actually I was looking at your LinkedIn profile earlier and what you’ve just mentioned there about the virality, as it were, of content that is a bit humorous, that is a little bit different that give the gets that kind of tickle moment, and is that both of us actually have ended up sharing the latest Pringles advert with adult swim. So again, I’m a massive Rick and Morty fan seeing these sorts of things happen. Again, it’s it’s huge for me, I think those sort of things, you know, they really do get people to engage, they get people to share it with their friends, because it’s something that you want to kind of showcase to other people and you want to kind of go look, see, this is creative. This is fun. This is engaging. Yeah. And I think that’s something that a lot of people miss, especially again, you know, without those strategies without those objectives, it’s very hard to know what it is that you should be posting in the first place.

Adam Hunt 10:24
Yeah, no, I’m with you. And with it, and actually the Rick and Morty one’s really interesting cuz we’ve just, well, I was I was asked to write a sort of thick piece on it, which is going out in a particular moment, and they were going on about a particular blog later today. And I don’t know if you’ve seen the so obviously, their big thing is they’re trying to get us on board with flavour stalking. I don’t know whether that is to try and sell more crisps, whether that’s just because they want us to be kooky and fun, but it’s something they’ve tried to sell us on for the last two Super Bowl ads. And the last two ads, were attempting to be funny but fail to be funny for very specific reasons. This is the first time they’ve cracked it. And I think they’ve cracked it. Because they they brought in people that understand how to write comedy, you know, it’s, I think, you can get your admin and ask them to try and be funny. But instead, you should get your comedy writers get your funny man and ask them to write the ads. And that will give you more, you’ve still, you’ve still got the oversight from the admin to make sure it doesn’t go against what this is trying to achieve. Because the end of the day, you know, there are people who have more expertise than than we do at the you know, honing a brand’s messaging so tightly that it’s, you know, sort of, according to conversion copy in an advert, but there’s so many examples of bad not funny, you know, looks like looks like comedy smells like comedy sounds like comedy, doesn’t make you laugh. And that’s, it’s it’s so frustrating when you see that so I’m really I’m really pleased that this Rick and Morty tie in happened, but it is really interesting to see the evolution and one thing that I also find really funny is They’ve been trying to make us one of the biggest issues with the original two ads is that flavour stacking isn’t a thing. It’s just not a thing. And they’ve been sort of trying to make half jokes on top of flavour stacking. But it’s not a thing. To make it a thing they’ve had to invent an alternative universe in a world of infinite alternative universities, just to be able to posit it as a thing that’s credible. And that, you know, it’s simultaneously a brilliant ad, it wouldn’t have worked without the history of bad ads, and a bit of a cop out at the same time.

Chris Bruno 12:31
I agree with you completely again, and that it’s, like you just mentioned that, you know, creating your own alternative reality within infinite realities. And then using that, especially with I think, again, hitting the right demographic.

Adam Hunt 12:43
Yeah, that’s probably going to be bigger actually, then the quality of the ad is just that Rick and Morty demographic is, is is huge and viable.

Chris Bruno 12:54
Well, I think we all so I think a lot of people actually either love or hate Adult Swim. And in terms of the sort of programming and the content that they’ve created, and I saw somebody shared the other day as well, I can’t remember who it was. But they were sharing a Adult Swim, I think it’s Robot Chicken or whatever it was called sort of all the plasticine kind of stop animations, but it was about Starbucks. And I don’t know if you saw that one doing the rounds recently. And but it’s basically about they’re not not really sure what the company is going to do yet. So it’s either going to be really specific niche down mermaid porn, or it’s going to be coffee. And whilst they’re doing the photoshoot, unfortunately, the girl who’s dressed up as a mermaid and one thing either ends up having an accident, so they crop the photo, and in her memory that becomes a Starbucks logo. And again, it was enough to just see that tickle moment, it got comments, it got people sharing it and got people talking about it. And I know it’s not necessarily meant to be an advert for how the coffee company started or anything else. But the branding element of that piece of content is absolutely huge as well. It has a huge knock on effect, and again, hitting a demographic that I think is Almost tough to reach because they all kind of blinds a, they’re getting very clued up, like you said about, you’re clearly trying to pitch me You’re clearly trying to sell to me. And they don’t want to see social media content that says 20% off. Let’s be honest, most people don’t want to see 20% off unless you’re already in the sales pipeline kind of thing. And you’re about to make the transaction. But it’s a real tough one for people to understand. And I think there’s another element I wanted to ask you about and get your opinion on. And I’ve seen some people recently making sort of funny videos around what they do. So it might be recruitment, or it might be something a bit more technical, and they’re trying to make sort of a video to get a laugh and to get that virality as it were, I use that word, and it’s probably not the right one, but they tried to get that organic kind of sharing feel to it. But it doesn’t necessarily actually have any impact really on the sales the brand and what the objective was in the first place. And that’s got to be a challenge finding that balance. How is that something that you guys? You guys work with?

Adam Hunt 14:58
Yeah, I think That that feeds into one of the most important things for us really, which is, and also one of the most important things for anyone who’s trying to try to find humour in their brand. And notice, that’s what I said, find humour in their brand, not be funny on behalf of their brand, not make jokes about the brand, find humour within their brand. I think we always start with a question that is super important. What do you want to say, you know, what is your message? What’s the what, what should this piece of content be about? Because we then need to find funny ways to say it funny ways to deliver it. And then you need to, you know, sort of hide the message a little bit. I think so long as you always start with the brand message, then that content is going to deliver it, you then you know, you then have to make sure that you line up the jokes in the same direction is the right message. And then there’s a lot of sort of quality control spinoff done afterwards. But the biggest mistake anyone can make is just by going right. Let’s try and be funny. I think there is an argument for you know, the benefits of just getting getting your name out there and your message out there. And, you know, there’s a couple of examples. I can Recently, that were funny videos that didn’t really say much about the brand, but I still went hard. You know what, they’re funny people and it’s a people centric business. And I think I’d like to work with them if I had a need for their services, I’m thinking particularly in the recruitment space. But, but that was, I think that was more of an accidental inclusion rather than a deliberate, you know, what they should have gone, right. You know, this needs to say that we are the most people for the most, you know, with the most ruthless, the most efficient, whatever it is, pick a thing, exaggerate to the nth degree, and then use the comedy to deliver that message and it’ll, it’ll, it’ll be it’ll pack a punch. But yeah, I think it’s really important to start with what you want to say. Do you

Chris Bruno 16:40
find that a lot of businesses can’t actually verbalise what it is that they’re trying to say,

Adam Hunt 16:45
Oh, of course, of course. But I think, you know, that’s, again, that’s where our job comes in. I think it’s not it’s not so much that the business has to tell us what they want to say. It’s that before anyone makes a joke, you need to decide what you’re gonna say. So, you know, sometimes a client comes to us with a, you know, hundred page brand identity doc. Other times, they just send us a product in the mail and they just go, here’s this thing help us. And so then I figure right what what is good about this? What are our selling points? How can we, how can we position it? And then we make the jokes I think, you know, it’s it’s especially tricky. It’s something that as you mentioned before about brands that pump out content not really knowing what they’re doing with it. I think a lot of companies don’t really think about like for me a TV ad that you’re spending, you know, hundreds of thousands on and a post that you’re putting out on Facebook this morning, you should put the same amount of thought into what the message is, yeah, you put more money and more time into the TV ad, but you still need to write what we’re saying here what we’re doing. And yeah, I think a lot of brands think that on you know, all right, we invested all of our time and energy into into the the above the line stuff but here or here on Facebook, just existing is enough and I think it’s so silly, because it It’s not it’s never hard just work out what they should be saying is never hard. You take the product, work out what’s good about it, think about how to sell, it won’t work out why someone would want to buy it, then even if you’re not making jokes, you’ve got more than they had to begin with. But I think, you know, I think that that’s why there’s a space for guys that use space for you know, guys like me, even before comedy was a part of what I was doing. I think a lot of companies need a helping hand.

Chris Bruno 18:26
I think that’s very true. And I think that’s the one of the things that I mean, you said it as you start with, you know, that first question, what is your message? And it’s something that’s quite interesting, because we’re very focused on community building, we believe, you know, once you start getting involved with your community, or start building a community, leveraging other people’s communities, whatever it might be, it’s really, really impactful. But the question that we asked before all of that is, Who are you? What is it that you do? What is it that you’re actually and you know, you redefine that question, as you know, what’s your message? We sort of talked to our companies and we say like, what are the vision vision, mission and values of the business so that we can understand who you guys are and how we’re going to actually portray that. And it’s quite amazing to us and successful businesses, by the way, that have, you know, huge offices, big amounts of staff, great turnover, and they kind of just been building the business. But when you ask them those kind of questions, they sort of flounder a little bit. And actually, they’re not really sure. And they can’t really tell you what they sort of believe in or why they believe in it. And invariably, we find that if you try to create vanilla content, because you don’t really know who you are, then actually what ends up happening is you create content that no one’s really interested in.

And with you, I always ask sort of I like having this conversation because I want to try and understand other people’s point of views on it. But I’ve really find that that’s one of the things you know, we spoke to another company recently. They’re talking about content and what they’re going to do and how they’re going to start writing blogs, for example. And one of the things that they were talking about was literally the idea of we’ll do a blog about x in this industry. They said, Okay, well what side of that line Do you fall on? And they were like that Why? And I said, well, because otherwise, you’re going to write a puff piece that actually, literally will engage next to nobody, because it will neither make them agree or disagree with the content. And what you’re going to end up doing is just wasting a load of time, effort money to push something out, that actually invariably doesn’t help you divide opinions and gather that community gather that audience. So is that something that you guys try and put into the comedy side as well as this content? Because I’m guessing you’re going to get people that go, this is awful. I don’t like it. And then you’re gonna get people that go, this is absolutely hysterical.

Adam Hunt 20:35
Well, I think two things, I guess, I think when it comes to generating content, it’s it’s easier. You kind of have to force a brand to take a position because you can’t really make a joke without an angle. You’re not I mean, you could write a blog piece that I remember back to university where every single essay anyone wrote was you were taught to go cover this could be that who knows and your summary was always who knows and that style of writing is somehow bled through in content marketing when it when it really shouldn’t. Whereas with a with a joke, you can’t make a joke land unless you take a position it needs to hear I need to target needs it, you know, needs to twist. So I think in terms of constructing, it’s easier in terms of reception, I think we always target any bit of content towards the ideal customer or the audience of our clients. So, you know, really simply, we’ve just recently finished a set a set of tweets and funny photo shops for those tweets for a house painting company in America. So the, you know, their local aspect of painting firm, they wanted to position themselves against other house big firms. So it’s just jokes that play up you know, don’t don’t don’t hide these guys hire us. But there’s always a funny way. For example, there’s always you know, a witty gag that makes that same point. And once you start with a message It’s really hard. It’s really hard for people to be offended you know, it’s it’s harder to make bad jokes if you are doing it with that kind of agenda. It’s I think, when people react badly to comedy, it’s it’s it’s often comedy that’s you know, the more some either extreme and you know, it’s either Ricky Jabez with the Golden Globes, offending everyone or it’s a lame anodyne attempt at being funny. That’s too far towards just pointless. But in that sweet spot in the middle, you know, we were yet to see a bad reaction to anything we’ve done for for quite and I think anyone outside of the target audience they might not love it couldn’t care less it does the job for the people they want to hire them or buy their stuff, whatever. So I think yeah, I think it’s tasting comedy is is, is it’s important to think about it. But it’s all about targeting You know, it also helps make sure the joke’s on you. Make sure you’re using references that that particular sector that particular demographic is going to get to Gonna make them love it more. So I think I think it’s just as easy to do that as it is to make an advert. It’s a demo kind of head on.

Chris Bruno 23:08
I think that’s some, again, the point of wreckage of Ace, and that’s one of the really good example of this. But I refer to it as you know, he does divide opinions massively. Like there’s no if some people were hugely offended other people sort of you know, that you think he’s absolutely hysterical. I fall personally in the line of I think he’s hysterical. I always have I’ve liked his comedy for a long time. And but actually, the Golden Globes, which is really fun, is that he keeps doing it. And you know, five years later, I think this is his fifth time presenting, he’s still doing it and they still asking him back and you think to yourself, well, hang on a second, it clearly does something. So you know, the talks about nature of that divisive comedy that he brings to their the the awards is almost talked about as much as the awards themselves.

Adam Hunt 23:53
Yeah. Yeah. I think I think that’s a great that’s that’s a great point. And he he’s he’s an example that I without Quite a lot because I think, you know, when some people might be scared of using comedy, it’s important for them to understand that they’re still in control you know that they are not hiring Ricky debase to start, you know, to live tweet for them for a week that it’s still marketing material. So yeah, I think I think I think and but also the controversy You know, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head the Golden Globes are successfully and quite cynically harnessing that controversy in the same way that you know, the occasional branded tweet that might be a little bit in that you know, could offend some people you know that there’s some great examples of brands that SAS other brands with with with their comedy online. And you know, sometimes that seems like it’s been coordinated. Other times, it seems like it’s just someone taking taking the Mick but either way you get stories about the stories about the stories, you’re generating free press coverage, and I think there’s there’s a, even when comedy offends people, there is a route towards that being powerful and valuable. I agree again,

Chris Bruno 25:01
It’s the wreckage of a thing that you said they’re literally just kind of tweaked in my head. And I was like that. Wouldn’t it be amazing to get wreckage of a race to run a brands on social media for a leg or even just a day? I can’t imagine anything would be funnier to watch like, obviously that’s for me personally. But

Adam Hunt 25:19
any, any any ne Brian’s listening to this, if interested if that if that tweets you right here right now say a collab between white label and ink will, will make that happen. I’ll get you Ricky I probably won’t. But

Chris Bruno 25:34
But How awesome would that be? So in my head, I’m just thinking, because when you’ve seen those funny tweets, and some of these brands nowadays are really doing a good job. And I think one of the examples I refer to a lot, but it’s KFC UK and Ireland, and on Twitter, they are fantastic. And you know, they’ve done all the things that you’ve mentioned, they sass their competitors, they, they get them involved in conversations, whether it’s organised or not, it doesn’t matter, but it’s fantastic because it’s this idea and this belief that you know, it’s not a scarce world. It’s time tonnes of content, there’s tonnes of people, there’s tonnes of opportunities, and it doesn’t mean that we can’t all have a bit of fun. And I actually, you know, by bringing that life into a brand, you look at their Twitter account and you remember that they literally sell fried chicken and chips. It’s incredible to see the kind of engagement and conversations that they’re having, considering they sell chicken and chips. You hadn’t. That’s such a big sort of jump. Most people would say, you know, it’s not really an interesting thing. You can’t really make this very fun, and yet they have so I think that’s always was always something for for people to take into consideration. And also as well, I think too many people are worried about taking themselves too seriously. Yeah, that makes sense. And they kind of like the highbrow high level. This is what I believe or this is what I think and on LinkedIn, especially you sort of see these posts and so many people as well that are happy to copy and paste other people’s posts and no credit one thing other to try and showcases if they’re usually smart, or they’ve done something great or grand or whatever it is, but again, I find that 90% These posts end up being either ridiculed to a certain extent, or have missed the point of, I want to understand who you are. So I think you and I actually ended up sort of chatting and talking through some sort of through some other opportunities, I cant rember how we ended up talking but then we started a conversation. And then by that point, we were both interested in each other and talking about the podcast and then we sort of organised this to come on together. But that happens through your you know, who you are and actually being true to who you are. And there’s too many people that maybe try and hide that or like you’re saying as well you know, if you can’t, if you want to bring comedy to it bring comedy to your message to who you are to what you do. Not trying to be funny for the sake of being funny, which actually has nothing to do with anything about you, your business, your brand, your messaging your your objectives, or anything else.

Adam Hunt 27:45
Yeah, no, I’m with you. I’m with you. Hundred percent. I think that’s that’s the one things I say most often is don’t try and be funny. Come up with your work, whether it’s you know, like working with you guys work out who you are working What you get the messaging straight and then find a funny way to express that message? Don’t try and be funny, because you won’t do it, you won’t pull it off. You’re not you’re not funny. And, you know, even the people that seem effortlessly funny, aren’t it’s, it’s comedy. comedy is comedy is a skill and I think so something I also bring up and something I want people to understand is that comedy is part art part science, but the science is really easy to understand. And to my mind, the simplest definition of a joke is it’s when two disparate ideas that shouldn’t work together magically do thanks to a perfectly placed twist that kind of business and positions them in a in a in a clever way, so that our brains jump that gap between the two of them. It sparks a little bit of joy because I yeah, that’s, you know, that’s funny, that makes sense. And it makes us laugh. Now, the, the base of any joke is that obviously, you then have to finesse it to make sure that it triggers the right kind of emotional response and it can Next, the two dots in the right kind of way. And that’s where you get good jokes, bad jokes, funny jokes, you know, slightly raised eyebrows, okay jokes, but that idea that all it is, is making two different things fit together and make sense actually opens up massive opportunity for content so this is something that I say to clients that you know even if they’re even if they’re not gonna be working with us is or not working with us on everything is just finding ways to relate what you do to a breaking news story to a relatable thing going on in people’s lives in a you know, in a way that jumps that gap can open up 10 you know, 10 x the the amount of content you could write when you just sat there writing about marketing or when you when you just sat there writing about shoes, it’s and you could you could start doing it and then get funnier, and no one would notice. I think just just find ways to relate you and who you are to the world. And there’s content right there.

Chris Bruno 30:03
It’s something that we were. I was with my business partner a couple of weekends ago. And we decided we were going to start recording are we going to do a recording of a podcast episode The two of us together in the same room. First time we’ve actually both been together we’re decentralised as well a bit like yourself. So there’s four of us in the core team plus all the freelancers and other people that we work with. And we do everything online. So just like you I’m sat in the little corner office in my flat, and And literally, we were both together. So we’re really excited about this. And we were testing out my ATR microphone, plugging directly into the iPad Pro. So we were recording this and we put up a an iPhone as well to record it and everything else. We’ve ended up publishing the video because it was an absolute disaster. You know, it was on garriage band, my partner clicks record and I then sort of looked at the screen after we’ve been talking for about a minute and realised that it had limited to about eight bars on garriage band and then stopped recording. We had all sorts of Issues one thing either. And literally the two of us looked at each other was like that. Right? We’re talking this up on YouTube, right? And we both just started giggling went, yeah, of course we are. Because again, it’s for us. It was honest, it was kind of funny. We were both laughing about it. It showed again, the reality of the situation, you know, not everything goes right. Not every time these things happen, doesn’t matter what you work in, you know, content filming something goes wrong, or you lose a piece of footage or microphone that doesn’t pick up or whatever it is. But we just found it really funny. And again, we weren’t scared of having people say to us, oh, my God, your failures, or you’re not very good at what you do. It was just a case of, you know, literally natural human error. This happens. There you go, have a chuckle. And we had a few people sort of messaged us back going, you guys are embarrassing. It’s amazing that you’ve managed to get 30 episodes of a podcast out so far. But again, we didn’t mind doing that. And I think there’s a lot of brands and people especially that are scared to come across human and I think that’s a real shame because actually, those are the best moments you know, knowing that there is actually a human being behind a brand or especially In the early days small to mid sized businesses usually you know, you’re, you’re a few employees, you guys are the brand you are the chair, you’re the tone of voice You are everything about it, you’re the personification of the brand because it is just you and actually coming across as that is massively powerful for the brand itself as well.

Adam Hunt 32:19
You know what testament to that power and testament to how much we’re used to brands not being human. The second any kind of customer service interaction has a bit of a bit of wisdom warms, there’s a new story, you know, it’s front page on demo website, it’s mirrors running it, you know, Sainsbury’s replies to the letter of the kid talking about Tiger breads and the world’s the world’s getting crazy because we’re so used to brands being famous even now even when there are brands trying it that you get, you know, you get a story out of it. And I think that’s over and above just the benefits of being around people enjoy interacting with

Chris Bruno 32:56
can agree more and Okay, cool. So listen, because we think By the sounds of it, you and I could chat like this for probably a few hours. Definitely. But, but for small businesses out there, if people you know, we often talk to companies that aren’t ready for agencies, they’re not at that point yet. They haven’t got the resources and, and that’s fine. But what are the sort of things that people can can try and take a bit of an action step today? How can they try and introduce a little bit of comedy easily without maybe going too far overthinking it and coming across like a very bad David Brent? And what what sort of things can they do?

Adam Hunt 33:30
I think, first things first, look at how the big brands do it. And think about how they’re doing it. There’s one thing that we’ve noticed is there you know, there are 100 different ways to write a joke. But in you know, in, especially in TV ads, but also on online on social. There are a number of methods, super simple methods that the brands use time and time again, and they’re ones that anyone could apply. So for instance, as silly as this sounds silly, saying out loud because everyone knows is how you write comedy you exaggerate, but just start with a benefit of your brand and exaggerate it until it’s silly until it’s funny. Or you know, start with a consequence of not using your brand and exaggerate that. That’s if you look at the Specsavers adverts. That is all they are. They just exaggerate the consequences of bad eyesight until it’s funny, you know until you are playing volleyball and slap down a seagull until you are naked in a kitchen with Gordon Ramsay gives you what was a sauna? It’s super easy. And because you lined it up with your brand message it’s it’s honestly mysteries. I think exaggeration in either direction is the best way. Find a way to make your brand the answer to a question. I think that’s the other thing. That’s that’s, to me the heart of that, you know, that’s the best Twitter jokes from from brands. The best pieces are when there’s a breaking news story and they decided to find a way to jump on board. So really great example from Lego recently. I don’t if you remember the day that Tesla unveiled that shatterproof car, and it shattered Lego within six hours had a really brilliantly photoshopped, maybe even had a photoshoot for it, and a Lego Tesla that was just a single brick. And they’re like, you know, genuinely shatterproof, and it jumped on board a breaking news story I feel like for me the Lego story was was as big as that story and it lined up with what they do. So you know, again to its history, so just look at what others are doing and do it. But I think the most important thing that I want all all brands of all sizes to think about is and there’s a real negative that I want to turn into a plus so we’ve all been there where you’ve put out a post that you know whether you thought was going to be good whether you didn’t have a clue because you’re close, but get zero reach you know there’s Carlsberg for instance in a 3.3 I told them a fair bit 3.3 million Facebook followers, a post of there’s a few weeks back 55 engagements I bet you it was probably seen by No less than 500 people literally passed the screens less than 500 people. Now normally for us, that’s an awful thing with Oh my god, how are we ever going to market ourselves without that kind of reach? But if you make a joke, and it doesn’t engage your audience songs is not offensive. those platforms quashy the rage, no one sees it. So you can experiment by putting out content that you think might be good you think might be funny. And when someone you know what, when it tickles your your audience, it will take off and it will get massive reach bigger, you see that difference? They won’t see the ones that didn’t go so well. So don’t be scared of failure. And you know, I think so long as you’re not offensive, so long as you point everything in the same direction so that it doesn’t seem left field and you’re not making a joke that tells people not to buy your product. It’s way less risky than you think because no one sees a bad joke.

Chris Bruno 36:58
I think that’s a really good point five everything to do with digital content especially and social media, just keep trying things. And you know, the amount of people I’ve spoken to the go social media just doesn’t work for our business and you go, Okay, so what’s that based on? They go, Well, we started a page. And you know, we posted a few times, and we never got any sales and you go, right. Okay, that sounds awesome. Well, you know, glad that worked out well for you. And but the reality is that, you know, what have you tried? They go, Well, we just post up the latest offers. Okay, great. Have you done anything else? No. Okay, well try things. There’s nothing like literally, like you mentioned, as well, a bad post will get next to no reach. So you’re not going to get people mocking you and annoying you and telling you how bad you are. And if the worst comes the worst, and it’s really bad, and you’re really upset with it, it really didn’t work out, you can delete it. But the idea being that what you want to try and do is keep experimenting with different types of posts. And you know, we’re not just about the comedy side when we talk to clients and again, depending on the system or the software or whatever it might be the app or or the service that they provide. Sometimes for us, it’s about education. Sometimes it’s about you know, sales and actually converting people. Sometimes it’s about giving somebody something and a reason to engage with your brand so that they understand a little bit more about you. Sometimes it’s literally about a great way for your team, your sales staff and everybody else just to be able to use it as part of their outreach programme. But there’s 100 different things that you can do for each of those options. And most brands aren’t, they’re not trying, I would say, 5% of them or even 1% of them. They’re just kind of knocking out stuff. And again, we talked about it loaders, you know, the bullhorn effect there stood on the corner of Oxford Street shouting or they have that big sign up that says, golf balls this way or whatever it might be, and they’re not realising that that just doesn’t work. And especially not online and especially not when you’re competing. And you know, I refer to it as an attention war. I genuinely believe that’s what we’re in. You know, everyone is on multiple screens 94 95% of the day, whether it be TV, it pad phone, laptop screens everywhere. And we’re seeing too much. There’s just too much we communicate with brands we’ve we listened to what our friends are doing watch videos that our friends are doing watch stories, we watch all sorts of things that are happening in the world. So how you cut through that it’s very much a case of finding the right ways to cut through that, like you mentioned, for your target audience to make sure that one, you’re not just making an ad creative for the sake of winning a prize, something that’s very important, and but actually, to you’re making an ad, or you’re making content, or you’re making a post, which is taking you towards your objectives. And once you’ve identified those objectives, it’s easy because you can post 20 different things. And you’ll start to realise which ones are helping, which ones aren’t, which ones are taking you towards your goals and which ones aren’t which ones don’t work at all. So you can stop doing them all together. And it’s just a case of experimenting. You know, we’re constantly I’ve been doing this now for 11 years of social Inc. And when we meet with clients, they say, right, or how do we do it to make sure that we get the ultimate results in one another and we say well, we don’t know yet, but we can tell you the rough idea we can tell you how the process will work, we can tell you how you optimise things, we can tell you how we’ll figure out what your audience actually likes. But you know, without having ever started and without ever having done anything, anyone who’s promising you results in 30 days or less, and they’re going to make you a million pounds in sales is just simply lying.

Adam Hunt 40:20
I’m with you, I’m with it. And I think you know, it’s all about iteration, I think I think you’ve hit the nail on the head in terms of you know, you’ve got to put stuff out, see what works and then do that better. Then put stuff out, see what works and then do stuff better. And I think that’s the same whether it’s content that’s just content, you know, whether usually people laugh. I think one thing that we’ve been playing around with recently actually that’s that’s really interesting and and producing fascinating results is using so obviously a lot of work. I’m going to say 90% of the social stuff we do is is strictly organic, but using Facebook ads as a route to finding optimising a brand’s sense of humour. So I think one thing I love about Facebook ads is that you can target you together, you don’t have to just target their existing audience, you can target anyone you want. You can you can split test, you can a B test, and you can make sure that people don’t see the other version of the ad. And what we’ve been doing, which is really interesting is starting with, you know, say for instance, your your objective for that, that campaign is just page likes something something cheap and simple and high volume, starting with one funny advert that we think will achieve that doing three or four versions that have tweaked, you know, really, really subtly tweet copy or images or style or you know, swaps in a different punch line swaps in a different hero for the story swaps in a different villain, whatever you want to do. And just in the same way that you AB tested a proper ad, you know, line by line bit by bit, doing the same to find a brand sense of humour and it’s amazing the difference you know, swapping out The foil for a joke can have on resonation with a particular audience, and you can get data on what that audience actually reacts to really quickly, really efficiently and relatively cheaply. And I think it’s It is, it is something we’ve only just begun to dabble in. But it’s a it’s a really fun place to play. And I think whatever you can use to get inside your ideal customers mind in a data driven way, whether you are selling them with jokes, or with just with content, I think is is really helpful.

Chris Bruno 42:28
I still think Facebook ads. Social media, in general, is one of the biggest opportunities for businesses, especially SMEs, it’s huge and the power like you said there a B testing, understanding what people do and don’t react to understanding that information, not just clicking that boost Post button on your page, but actually making it into an experiment so that you can see what’s good and what’s not. And what’s working and what isn’t so that you can replicate, iterate, keep building on that and just keep getting better to the point where people actually do love your brand and they love it. What you’re doing, and we all have our favourite brands for particular reasons. And when it comes to advertising, you know, for me, one of the big ones that I always loved was Old Spice, huge amounts of humour, constantly kind of iterating on it, then building on it, then doing another version of it, then doing something different with it. But again, they’re just doing things in a way to test to see what works to see what people resonate with. And then you start to build up that kind of that kind of repertoire, and even a series of adverts that are based around the same kind of concepts or themes. And I find that kind of stuff is, is remarkably interesting. If it’s run as an experiment. That’s the hardest thing for, for everybody out there listening, run these things as an experiment. There’s nothing wrong with that look at the data and make it a little bit scientific in terms of this one is this because of x, the photo might be different. The punch line might be different the or the text of it might be different, but keep testing things and even if you start with a very, a very disparate kind of very to two extremes. So for example, one could be a very technical kind of post Someone could be a very simple post and a very funny post or a very charming post, those two things will already give you a really simple indication of whether or not your audience is more interested in the technical side, or if they’re more interested in the feeling side. And these little things help you to kind of understand what your audience really wants to engage with.

Adam Hunt 44:18
Yeah, and with the media, always be testing but then make sure you take what you’ve learned and apply it to organic I think one of the one of the things that I saddens me to see is brands and companies that have gone Oh, we can’t, we can’t really, we can’t really achieve organically. So we must have to spend loads of money on paid social and I think you need to be using paid social for learning about your your audience to feed that back into organic so that organic, carries itself and travels further you know, on its own behalf. And also obviously you know, campaign has paid has a strong role when it comes to actually closing a sale. But don’t don’t just think because your organic hasn’t worked, that the only option is paid it, you just use me to make the organic better. And a great way to do that is learning, learning by a paid.

Chris Bruno 45:09
Great. And for anyone out there the things without the budgets, you can’t do anything I will say as well in the last three years, we’ve worked with several brands that are in industries that can’t use paid Facebook ads paid Google ads, and therefore there is you know, still capability and ways of doing it, leveraging other people’s communities and keeping to do these tests as well. So there is never an excuse. If I don’t have a million pounds, I can’t make this work on Facebook, you would be amazed what you can do. And even with a very small budget, you’d be amazed at what you can learn as well. So I think that’s very important. And thank you, Adam for for telling everyone about that as well. Really quickly then before we wrap up, Adam, what’s your favourite social media channel for you personally?

Adam Hunt 45:51
Do you know what they’ve all got? They’ve all got different pros different cons. I think it’s probably Twitter. Just because Everything is short and sweet and digestible. And I think when a you know, when a great joke takes off on Twitter, it goes, it goes like wildfire. So I think I’m going to go with Twitter. But,you know, I’m really intrigued by LinkedIn at the moment, I think it’s a really interesting platform to be in. And I think obviously, it’s also where we’re a lot of our target, you know, our own clients are, and I think people are getting better at leveraging that in a more interesting way. But it’s, you know, it’s always going to be kind of kind of business to business, I think, for big brands, funny stuff on mass. Twitter, although, you know, it’s, it’s harder, it’s harder for brands to grow an audience on Twitter, by brute force, you know, I think on Facebook, they can grow an audience by brute force just by paying for it. Twitter is harder to do that. And maybe that makes things that succeed on Twitter also felt more success. You know, you can’t you can’t fake success on Twitter. And that’s, that’s why Yeah, so having thought around this around the question, I’m going to give the award to Twitter.

Chris Bruno 46:58
I gotta be honest, Ricky Gervais. putting more comedy into the to the way he announced the award for for anything else. But thank you very much for your time today. Adam, where’s the best place for people to connect with you whether it be Twitter as well.

Adam Hunt 47:11
And you know what LinkedIn or just on our website white label comedy calm? I think you know we are such an odd company to even exist. That’s step one for anyone intrigued is just to get you know, get a handle on what we’re all about. I think the thing so yeah, white label.com. But we’re easy to find just google us and you’ll you’ll stumble upon pictures of my face and ways to get in touch. So yeah,

Well, I will definitely add, I will definitely add all the links that you mentioned as well into the show notes. So you can check those out as well on all about digital marketing.co.uk. And you’ll find links directly to Adam, his profiles and where you can connect with him and the company. Adam, thank you so much for your time and for your insights. I think this has been fantastic conversation and I’m hoping that we’ll get a chance to do this again sometime soon.

Lovely. Thanks me. It’s been it’s been great. Thanks.

Chris Bruno 48:00
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Music by Hani Koi from Fugue