Tis the season to be jolly

What can comedy teach us about marketing? Text100 London’s Karen Ward looks beyond the laughter at the best way to appeal to your audience

What can comedy teach us about marketing? Text100 London’s Karen Ward looks beyond the laughter at the best way to appeal to your audience

Almost everyone has a favourite comedy series because laughter is good for the soul.  From classic comedy such as Only Fools and Horses, which enjoyed re-runs long after the last episode had aired, to the belly laughing antics of the Royle Family; the choice is vast for anyone looking to have their funnybone tickled.

And if home-grown comedy isn’t to your taste, then there’s a huge number of shows shipped from across the pond. In the 80s we yearned to sit and drink with the cast of Cheers; and in the 90s a coffee house and the complex relationships between six best friends dominated our screens.

But times have changed.  This year, People Just Do Nothing was awarded a BAFTA for Best Scripted Comedy, and while those of us who have watched the show regard it as a hit, many have never even heard of it. Success is no longer down to simple audience reach, and comedy producers aren’t raking in the millions.

The way we watch TV (and engage with content) is changing and juggernaut hits as we recognise them have disappeared. Word of mouth is now the key driver to credibility and recognition.

What does this mean for us, for brands, for our clients?

Widespread mobile device adoption means we are all consuming content almost constantly.  And if, as a brand, you’re not telling your story through content, the likelihood is you’re not reaching your audience.

That doesn’t need to mean mass market.  While every brand has global domination as their goal, creating niche content is just as relevant, particularly for something as subjective as comedy.

Aiming to reach a niche audience often results in more interesting and appealing content (making it more shareable); if done right this will lead to a loyal fan base, who will become brand ambassadors, sharing content on your behalf.

So be bold, be authentic, and consider targeting a niche, engaged audience, instead of trying to appeal to everyone.

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