Using humor to sell a complicated service
Using humor in your marketing videos can be a bold move, especially if its uncharted territory for your brand. Many marketers, particularly those reaching B2B audiences may shy away from a joke at the risk of coming off as cheesy. In Deloitte’s case going for the joke really paid off.
Only a few months after the video was posted, this video for Deloitte’s Digital Heartbeat solution has been viewed 168 times more than the channel’s average. With over 420,000 views at the time of this writing, the video is the #1 most viewed video on the Deloitte US YouTube channel.
Deloitte’s marketing team needed a video that could generate leads and help close business for its Digital Heartbeat solution. The issue was that Digital Heartbeat is a somewhat complicated product. The solution wrangles, analyzes, and controls robotic process automation (RPA) on an enterprise level. In case you aren’t familiar, an RPA is a “robot” employee that you can train to do really boring tasks like copying and pasting information from one system to another. The issue is big companies have set up a ton of these RPAs but have no visibility into how they are performing, if they’re even on, and if they’re reaping any value from them. This is where Digital Heartbeat comes in. It takes all of the RPAs and feeds their information into a single dashboard where it does all of its cool analytic stuff. You can see how this gets very complicated.
After multiple conversations with our client, we distilled the message down to, “un-managed RPA is kind of like unmanaged people.” Now we had to visually demonstrate this. Our concept was to personify RPA as misbehaving, unmanaged employees. From there, we’d make the claim that leaving your RPAs unmanaged is just like leaving your employees unmanaged. And that’s what the spot does.
We held several calls with our client’s team to learn about all of the common frustrations their prospects have with RPA. Stuff like RPAs just sitting idle because they can’t log in to a platform, or failing to hand off an item to another RPA, causing the workload to pile up and not be completed.
We took all of these frustrations and had people act them out in the first part of the commercial. For the second half of the commercial we ask, “You wouldn’t leave your human workforce unmanaged, so why don’t you have a strategy for managing your digital labor?” We then hit on Digital Heartbeat’s features and benefits before tying the whole spot up with a bow via a callback joke (you’ll have to watch).
Why humor works in this video
Humor is super tricky. It doesn’t always work. And it may not fit with your brand’s archetype. So why did we use humor for this video? There’s no doubt that Deloitte doesn’t initially make you think of “funny videos” after all.
We knew highbrow humor would work in this case because we were illustrating a simple metaphor: unmanaged RPA is just like unmanaged humans. The humor came naturally and wasn’t forced. It was like there was no other way to tell this story without it being kinda funny.
The key takeaway here is that just because you have a complicated product or service doesn’t mean you have to have a boring video. And just because your brand isn’t known for humorous content, doesn’t mean it should be off-limits. If the story you’re telling is funny, without being forced, then go ahead and tell it!
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