Humour debunks marketing myths for Adobe

Metrics not mythsIntelligent humour that doesn’t patronize and isn’t condescending – it just makes you laugh – surely must be a Holy Grail for marketers when designing their campaigns.

If something makes you laugh, particularly because you can identify in some way with the situation portrayed, you’re more likely to remember what made you laugh; and, from a brand marketing perspective, you’re more likely to talk about it, share your comments online and tell your friends.

If it’s a video, you have a good chance of establishing some of the essential conditions in and from which that intangible known as ‘viral’ develops.

Thoughts I pondered as I viewed two new videos from software maker Adobe in its on-going ‘Metrics not Myths’ digital marketing campaign in support of its Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions launched last October.

The campaign seeks to portray Adobe’s product – an integrated set of analytics, social, advertising, targeting, and web experience management solutions – as valuable tools for marketers via a humorous approach in debunking common misconceptions that marketers are disconnected from business results.

1. The fortune teller

2. On the analyst’s couch

What do you think – funny or not? Likely to work for Adobe? Take this quick instant poll and then view the results for a totally unscientific snapshot view on what people think. If you prefer to add your own response rather than choose a pre-selection, please do:

[This post is part of an experiment in brand story-telling.]

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Humour in Adobe’s Cloud

The BS detectorBuzzwords, precision in analytics and measuring ROI are topics featuring in a trio of humorous online videos that software maker Adobe has been using to raise awareness of key aspects of its Marketing Cloud product and drive traffic to its website.

Launched in October 2012, the Adobe Marketing Cloud is an integrated set of analytics, social, advertising, targeting, and web experience management solutions with a real-time dashboard that brings together everything you need from your campaigns that lets you get the essential and actionable insights from all that data.

With the overall theme of ‘Metrics not Myths,’ each video addresses an area of digital marketing that I expect will resonate with you if you get a little tired of the lame-ness that seems prevalent across the marketing spectrum these days where buzzwords, slickness and uninformed opinion litter the landscape.

Oh for some imagination, you cry!

Using humour in marketing and advertising is a road to hell if you get it wrong, but can be a very good trick if you can pull it off. Humour’s also pretty subjective and varies in its appeal from country to country (and culture to culture).

That said, check these out:

1. Buzzwords are painful…

2. There’s a better way to analyse data…

3. Slap sense into marketers…

I think Adobe’s got it right with this trio of videos. Certainly, each one appeals to my often-eccentric sense of humour! Do they do that for you? Take this quick instant poll and then view the results for a totally unscientific snapshot view on what people think.

Last week, Adobe announced a large-scale refresh of the Adobe Marketing Cloud with new capabilities including a a new Adobe Experience Manager where you can pin content Pinterest-like to a dashboard to keep track of it and your campaigns, and share that content easily.

Two elements in the refresh caught my attention in particular as they add some powerful capabilities that could make your campaign planning and management more inclusive:

  • Mobile – Quickly preview responsive design layouts while authoring content to understand exactly how it will perform on the desktop, tablets and smartphones. You can precisely control video and image sizing and delivery to ensure the best performance. You also get a single authoring experience and shared content you can can quickly develop and deliver mobile apps.
  • Social Communities – Easily incorporate social elements and user-generated content into websites to amplify your digital presence, and create branded communities to help people connect based on common interests. This gives you a comprehensive view of your customers throughout the relationship. Integration with social network profiles on Facebook and Twitter enables stronger interactions between owned- and third-party sites.

With the greater need for accurately and effectively interpreting meaning in the rich data you must pay attention to, the underlying points behind the humour in Adobe’s video trio could be right on the mark.

[This post is part of an experiment in brand story-telling.]

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Don’t be like the pointy-haired boss

Dilbert comic strip 9-Jan-2013

Big data. The cloud. Actionable analytics. Three phrases that have crept into the business lexicon and that are bandied about freely in many workplaces, sometimes by people who do broadly understand their meanings but more frequently by some (especially managers) who want to impress their co-workers, seem cool by using the latest lingo, or employ a little control freakery because it’s in their nature to do so.

There is some reality behind the humour displayed in today’s Dilbert comic strip you see here. It’s in the nature of human beings to use jargon that only a select few understand: we like to impress others with our cool-ness. Yet with lack of understanding by others comes lack of commitment and effectiveness which may result in the plunge of productivity that Dilbert envisions.

Technical jargon is ripe for this kind of thing (time to update buzzword bingo). The fact is, though, that jargon of every type is everywhere in business. It can be fun to understand usages at times – for instance, I get joy out of reading Tony Thorne’s Bizwords column in Highlife magazine every time I fly British Airways.

But as a communicator, don’t fall into the Dilbert trap (or better said, the pointy-haired boss trap). And if you do insist on using jargon like the phrases mentioned here, at least have some kind of understanding of what they mean when someone challenges you to explain what you mean when you ask “Do we have any actionable analytics from our big data in the cloud?”

If I asked such a question, here’s how I might re-phrase it when someone in my group says “Huh?”

What do the results of the Christmas online sales figures tell us about customer buying habits that give us insight into what our best steps are in improving the customer experience on our website?

See what I did there? In this example, I focused on the “actionable analytics” element of the jargon-filled original question that is the whole point: the other jargon words are totally irrelevant. The re-phrased question might even be a candidate for a Plain English award!

Overall point: avoid jargon wherever possible if your goal is to enable others to understand what you mean and, thus, be able and willing to take the desired action arising from your question.

As for Dilbert’s pointy-haired boss’ admonition that “in-memory computing will accelerate your applications,” I wonder how he’d explain that. Isn’t it just jargon?

Very characteristic of pointy-haired bosses everywhere.

The secrets of making viral videos

Outsource the clickers, create outreach programmes for the elderly, stimulate your kids’ clicking smarts with school clicking programmes.

Making a viral video used to take a lot of work, says Buyral. “How can people go viraler and viraler?” they ask. And give you the answers. And check out the CL-app (say it quickly) for your iPhone.

Now anyone can do it. And who knows, soon you’ll have the viralest video – and no need for viewers any more to get that virality!


(Via +Keith Childs with tongue welded to cheek. Clever communication from ad agency John St in Toronto, Canada. It’ll make you click.)

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Humour’s a funny thing

What’s funny to you or I may not be to anyone else.

Case in point – SpecSavers‘ press ad in the UK today over the Korean flag mixup at #London2012.

I can see the humour certainly. But I wonder how the Koreas might especially with both flags portrayed together like that. Pretty sensitive issues for both, especially North Korea.

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Specsavers ad seizes on Korea flag fiasco. Campaign, first for advertising & creative news

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The definition of management


According to Dilbert. Love the humour, which reminds me of a workplace culture I experienced a previous life or two ago.

No trust at all. Mind you, employee behaviours didn’t help. And leadership was dysfunctional, at best.

All a virtuous circle, though – management didn’t trust employees; employees cared little about their work because management didn’t trust them, didn’t seem to care about them… How different it all could have been.

How’s your workplace? Familiar sounding or an unrecognizable place? Ponder on that as you enjoy the forthcoming weekend!