Posted: December 2, 2014, 10:20 p.m.
by Connor Fox.
“Brevity is the soul of wit.” As Shakespeare once wrote, conciseness is the key to quick wit and humoring others. With the overwhelming majority of brands utilizing social media platforms these days, Twitter has emerged as the platform of choice for brands to relish in their own comedy.
Twitter has become a conversational outlet for brands and consumers, limiting messages to 140 characters and requiring users to choose their words carefully. It now takes more than just a few well-written tweets and beautifully designed pictures to engage audiences. Whether a brand’s content is sassy, a bit edgy or filled with good-ole-fashioned humor, people don’t forget a solid punchline or joke. You’ve got to be funny to make your mark, and the difference in effective and ineffective tweeting is defined by personality.
Laughter has proven health benefits, especially in terms of memory recall, and can take a brand’s messages to another level. What makes it so difficult? Everyone shares a different style of humor. While only a select few can bring the laughs — brands such as Oreo and Cinnabon know how, for sure — the difficulty lies in the timing and context of crafting the hilarious tweet. Let’s learn from some of the best…
Denny’s holds nothing back on Twitter, and people love it. The brand’s wit and clever voice remain consistent in its variety of content, ranging from breakfast-food puns — “lazy sundegg” or its Halloween #ScaryMovieFoodTitles like “The Hamityville Horror” and “Poultrygeist” — to hilarious graphics that deliver content in a way that’s too irresistible not to share. The tweets often reference current events at the opportune moment, too, for the most timely laugh.
“Know your guests, know your target, and give them what they want, when they want it,” Denny’s VP of Marketing John Dillon said in a recent article from Adweek. “Go beyond relevance, [and] strive for being significant in their lives with content they’ll want to share.”
While some content might seem a bit out there, the brand continues to appeal to the masses with its different style of comedy and creative satire. As a result, “America’s Diner” keeps it real and unpredictable, making its 100,000+ followers come back for more.
What all is there to say about toilet paper, really? Charmin’s Twitter account could go on for days with content that speaks, offering advice for restroom habits or simply spreading the love for its product. No matter what, its unconventional posts all seem to relate back to enhancing the bathroom experience for all — and they’re effective, too.
Using the hashtag #tweetfromtheseat, Charmin regularly engages consumers on Twitter and starts conversations about its product with slapstick humor. The brand’s creative presence also capitalizes on current events as well. When the trailer for “Jurassic World” launched last week to millions of viewers, Charmin was on it with a reference to the series.
Time even ranked the brand number one on its list of The 13 Sassiest Brands on Twitter earlier this year. And with more than 56,000 followers, its effective humor clearly reaches audiences and goes beyond competitors; by contrast, Angel Soft’s Twitter account has just above 1,500 followers, and Cottonelle’s peaks around 28,000 followers.
Coming in at number six on Time’s list, DiGiorno Pizza’s sassiness on Twitter also never ceases to entertain followers and fans alike. With its deliberate jokes and puns, there’s never a dull moment, and the word “pizza” doesn’t seem to get old, surprisingly.
Brands that strive for effective comedy must be aware of target audiences, and DiGiorno Pizza is a prime example. It has become renowned for its oddly funny content and “texting” language, tapping into target audiences such as college students and young adults.
But as always, some jokes can be risky and go too far. Earlier this year, in an attempt to use a trending hashtag, the brand made a joke of a serious issue on domestic violence with an untimely tweet. The brand was quick to apologize and correct the mistake, though, and still continues to share all of the jokes on Twitter with its loyal followers.
It takes time for a brand’s personality to take shape and attract followers, and Twitter has proven to be an effective tool to captivate consumers with entertainment — and sometimes in unconventional ways. Using a consistent voice is essential, but it’s the ability to stay relevant and react with a quip that gives people the laugh they’re looking for.