Fun and play are underrated marketing tactics. I was about to say particularly in healthcare, but fun and play get ignored in most industries. Even after seeing million-dollar examples illustrating why humor, fun, and play cut through crowded, chaotic industries, marketing teams miss the hint. Here are a few examples I remember where fun got my attention and, in some cases, my money; please share your favorite examples by texting me 360 1224 in the 919 area code.
I live in a tiny-ish home, and watching the Boxable team create a home that unfolds, racing their initial offering - the Casita - and other goofy, fun, personal videos makes me want one even though I already have one. Result? More than 100,000 on their tiny house wating list.
Dollar Shave Club
I subscribed to Dollar Shave Club, as did millions of others, because of the F**king Great ad. Sadly the razor blades weren't as good as the ad, but they got me. Result? Made more than $100M disrupting Gillette.
Healthcare marketing teams avoid an adult Yellow Submarine MRI because they think fun and play detract from the serious business of curing cancer. I'm a cancer survivor, and fun, play, and humor are the best and least expensive medicine I've received. So why do hospitals and healthcare take themselves so seriously?
Because we all take ourselves and our journey too seriously. Most of the things that seemed important before hearing "cancer" and my name in the same sentence turned out to be little or nothing. Family, friends, great doctors, fun, and play are why I'm here seventeen years after diagnosis.
Let's leave the personal and think like a marketing director. Humor and fun are hit-and-miss and could be offensive in their beliefs. Most chief marketing officers (CMOs) would explain their reluctance to loosen their grip and embrace humor because of the over/under - too much risk and too little potential for gain. Humor and fun are no more hit or miss than anything else. What is the risk of being boring in a crowded, chaotic world? Irrelevance is the brand-shattering risk of not breaking out the blocks and building something fun.
The same marketing process applies to campaigns based on fun, play, and humor - test, watch, tweak, improve, rinse, and repeat. Instead of rigid procedures, I'd suggest adopting flexible marketing based on the Rules of Improv:
The first ten improv rules are:
When the Yellow Submarine MRI has proposed, someone said, "Yes, and let's add fish floating by." The design is over the top, so the "take choices to the nth degree" applies. The yellow submarine MRI plays in the present moment, so something that could be scary - when a child needs an MRI - becomes playful and exciting. As David Mountain commented on Dean's share, where is the adult version?
That is too good, and shout out to Dean Shaw for the share. Why do you think marketing teams avoid humor, fun, and play? Email martin (at) WTE.net or text 360 1224 in the 919 area code.