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A really creative idea often begins with a sense of humor.
Out-of-the-box thinking most likely starts with a sense of humor, being able to see things that make you laugh inside; Taking serious subjects and putting an outrageous spin on them.
If you take notice of all the wacky things that pass for normal, you’ll develop an outlook that will help you come up with some creative twists on everyday happenings. Become a people-watcher, make observations of human reactions to just about everything. Watch how animals react to certain stimuli. Listen to conversations, opinions on a variety of subjects, how people walk and do what they do when they do it. Watch all the humor people display even when they’re very, very serious.
Here's an example.
Take, for instance, the subject of selling shoes in a TV spot. Wouldn’t it be funny to have an early morning street scene with people rushing to work, each one scurrying in their own unique and painful gait as they suffer through the experience of getting to where they’re going in their Brand X footwear? You’ve seen individuals that walk funny because their footwear is ill fitting. Now imagine them maneuvering back and forth past each other in a crowd and you’ve got yourself a very funny scenario. Forget the message for a moment or what we’d do in subsequent scenes, just keep playing this one over and over in your mind and you’ll arrive at something hilarious. If you have doubts, get a few people together and try it; you’ll find everyone doubling up with laughter. That’s one of the reasons that making TV commercials can be so much fun. If you have enough people contributing their unique sense of humor, you get input that results in tickling a wide variety of funny bones.
In a recent commercial, they used a dog trained to rub his behind across a rug as if he had worms, selling a carpet cleaning service that was very funny. If that one’s too obvious for your taste, consider more subtle approaches with tongue-in-cheek humor. The caveman for Geico, The Geico gecko, or the FedEx guy who spent five uncertain years as a castaway and upon his return, delivered the unopened package he was protecting. When his curiosity got the best of him he asked the recipient what it contained and learned it was a cell phone, a GPS device and a variety of other survival gear. That's pretty funny.
But that's just half of it.
No matter how funny or how serious the end product might be, it all starts out with a bizarre outlook that reflects a wide variety of humor. It gets funnier and funnier, sillier and sillier until you arrive at the point you want to be. I saw a cartoon once that showed a woman standing in front of a headstone that read: “I think there’s something wrong with the roast beef”. The name of the burial grounds shown on the entrance archway just above her head, read: Famous Last Words Cemetery.
Then there was the Suburban Auto Group series of Trunk Monkey spots. This campaign centered on various hot spots drivers managed to get themselves into and how a chimp bailed them out. The situations included a pregnant woman in the back seat ready to give birth, teenagers pelting a car with snowballs, a car thief breaking into a parked automobile, a woman stopped by a traffic trooper, and a burly trucker pounding on a driver’s window trying to egg him out for a confrontation. In each case, a real chimpanzee, headquartered in the truck, came to the rescue when the driver pressed the Trunk Monkey button. In the case of the trucker, the Trunk Monkey came out wielding a tire iron that he used to KO the trucker. Each time the Trunk Monkey is summoned, he emerges to save the day in some fashion and promote a different dealer service. In the truck driver incident, he was promoting “a revolutionary new service pending approval by the Attorney General”. To see this spot in action, go to:
Once you view it, you can navigate on that site to the others I described. So, if you’re planning to put your business in a commercial, funny, serious, or tongue-in cheek, start by thinking way, way out of the box. Believe me, it doesn’t require tons of money to make a memorable commercial, or bring a smile to an ad or direct mail piece, it mostly takes a good sense of humor to think up the most hilariously funny scenarios. Hahahahaha. Barry