Social Symphony

Crowd Sourcing Humor – Secrets of the New Social Humor

Gunther Koo - Friday, April 01, 2011

People love to laugh. It is a basic human emotion. Marketers know this.  A good laugh tied to a brand can keep the brand relevant and top of mind, increasing purchase intent.  It is an old formula. Social marketing is changing how the marketers can get laughs. In the past, a creative person conceived the idea and the agency built a plan to produce and distribute a campaign based on a humorous twist. Today, we are seeing new phenomena where the brand can assume the identity of what is funny…  with people becoming the character, being comedy writers for the brand in the stream of the brands facebook page. 

The Most Interesting Man In The World Dos Equis just passed 1M followers on facebook based on “The Most Interesting Man In The World… TMIMITW.” Dos Equis invested in TV commercials and TV media for the last five years setting the stage for a most interesting character people identify with and are now making their own. People from all walks of life, from all over the world are topping each other with line after funny line connecting around what they think is humorous on the Dos Equis facebook page with posts like: Anthony Jones He can solve the Rubik’s cube by making only one turn! Ben Towne While stranded in a burning desert, he was offered a cold Pabst. He declined Abel Coronado He and my wife had dos kids and I happily pay his child support.... This character was created years ago for the TV one-way world. In the TV spots he walks through the jungle, as the narrator would say “if he punched you in the face you would have an urge to thanks him”. 

Narrator Allows Character to be many Things to Many People The use of a narrator allows the character to create multiple identities and personas as he was always referred to in the 3rd person. He rarely speaks for himself except to say “Stay thirsty my friends.” The Dos Equis use of a narrator creates a mystery man, an interesting man who can assume many archetypes. In our imagination he can play the hero, the explorer, the outlaw, the mentor, the jester all to connect with a broad swath of people. He rarely ever speaks or pins himself down, allowing us to get involved and imagine him based on which archetype we aspire to. As he migrated to social and people get involved, they channel themselves in to the most Interesting Man. People assign their own archetype to him. They include their friends in their posts. They share with friends and invite them to play along, marketing for Dos Equis. People are now the comedy writers for Dos Equis. They provide the emotion using what is relevant today. They comment on the wall and use it relates to them and share with their friends. Mike Quinn He was at a club in Cairo and they ran out of Dos Equis, so he started protesting...then it all went downhill from there Kostas Veliadis Facebook gave HIM up for lent... Did you hear me Jim? ;) Vern Roberts He posts his friend's Happy Birthday greetings on his OWN wall! 

People see him as a mirror of themselves When you are on their facebook page you feel compelled to join in. Ones competitive nature is aroused. Doing this, you are coming from your self; from what you think is funny, from what you believe TMIMINTW to be. This is a self-fulfilling circle. They believe that Dos Equis “gets them”. They become more of the brand as they feel the brand becomes more of them. Dos Equis facebook page is getting 100 to 1,000 posts Per Day this way. Sales of imported beer are down 4 %… Dos Equis sales, however, are up 22 %.

A Social Christmas Carol… Pardon me Charles Dickens

Gunther Koo - Wednesday, December 08, 2010

In my dreams Scrooge’s old partner, Jacob Marley, came knocking on my door. He told me a story about how some of today’s brands will be visited by the Ghosts if they don’t change their ways. This is the story he told me. He reminded me that when the Ghost of Christmas Past took Scrooge back to his time as a schoolboy Scrooge remembers how his father abandoned him at his boarding school. Scrooge did not know how to socialize because he never experienced meaningful social relationships. 

Later the ghost shows Scrooge how his success in business made him believe he had all the answers and what he had always done was the only way. Marley told me that Scrooge was like some brands that have become set in their ways. He said that if they do not see that they are part of a changing community where the social rules are evolving, they will be abandoned. Next the Ghost of Christmas Present visits and shows him the full social life and happiness of his nephew's family. 

They have a young son (Tiny Tim) who can’t walk but they still manage to live happily on what little Scrooge pays them. Scrooge asks the Ghost if Tiny Tim will die. The Ghost tells him that if they can’t get money to get Tiny Tim strong, he will die. Marley told me that some brands are like Tiny Tim. That their social identity is ill formed, unstable and needs to be developed and nurtured. He said that they can find long lasting success and happiness but if they continue to ignore and underfund their social growth, it would be their undoing. Lastly, the Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge that Tiny Tim has died, leaving the entire family in mourning. 

Scrooge dies alone with nothing but his old view of the world and possessions intact. Scrooge cries over his own grave, begging the ghost for a chance to change his ways before awakening to find it is Christmas morning and realizes he can still change. Marley reminded me that it is Christmas morning for many brands and asked me to spread this word. That Marley’s story of salvation is about the awakening of brands to the core tenets of social human nature. That they should align with a spirit of personal meaning and human connection as it relates to their brand. He said to focus on the value of your brand aligned with what it does for others. Figure out how to communicate to express your thankfulness for being able to help. Reveal an attitude, a spirit filled with kindness, wonder and gratitude. Express your brand purpose clearly; communicate your true value as a brand in a humanly meaningful way. 

Figure out ways to flex your brand, expand the meaning of your brand, so that your value is displayed with a charged spirit. Don't talk about yourself.  Remind people of the good in themselves, the good they can do, the good you help them do and that we do together.  Connect with people… make people feel like talking about you. Use facebook, twitter, LinkedIn and all your social tools to spread helpful messages relevant to your business.  Let other people comment upon your goods and services and motivate them to talk about how you help people.  Reveal how people are helping other people with your product. 

Use geo location to help people where they are. Use mobile to send messages of assistance, safe travels and timely offers . Use GroupOn in a way that feels like you are giving back. Really think and act social. Remember, Marley said, this is about making real human connection and building long-term relationships. He let me know that Tiny Tim is now Big Tim and has 2,381 friends on facebook, is the mayor of Walmart and is tweeting everyone he loves your competition.