It’s remarkable how brands connect with people when they stop taking themselves so seriously.
Everyone loves it when brands mix it up on Twitter. For some brands, Twitter is the perfect place to let your hair down and rebel against corporate culture. It’s where you can really define your brand voice and personality.
But humor isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of thing. Some brands do it well. Others bomb when they try it. The ones that get it right usually know their audience very well, and they know how to come across as funny, quirky, strange or cute rather than weird, inauthentic or gimmicky.
The best brands use humor to develop strong followings with shareable tweets that go viral. If you want to know what it takes, here are 7 of the funniest brands that are killing it daily on Twitter.
If Oreo is the king of agile marketing, then Twitter is its crowning gem. The brand’s interaction on Twitter shows that it not only has a finger on the pulse of its audience, but it can react with whip-smart efficiency.
Remember when the power went out during the Super Bowl in 2013? Within minutes, @Oreo posted an ad on Twitter that showed a single Oreo in a shadowy backdrop with the title: “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark.” The caption below read: “Power out? No problem.” Viewers loved Oreo’s funny take on the power outage and retweeted the meme more than 10,000 times in one hour.
The quick-witted tweet likely had an even greater payoff than Oreo’s actual Super Bowl ad, which cost millions to create.
2. Old Spice
Old Spice is best known for its surreal viral commercials featuring former NFL athlete Isaiah Mustafa. The company has managed to insert the same kind of outlandish and fun branding into all its social media accounts. Old Spice has developed its unique voice through its hilarious and sometimes ridiculous posts featured on both its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Although the company has been diligently focused on being the loudest and quirkiest voice in preventing male stink, it’s not content to stay in its social media lane. For example, at one point @OldSpice decided to tweet at Taco Bell, taking umbrage at Taco Bell’s fire sauce because it didn’t contain actual fire, and claiming it was false advertisement. This apparently incited a Twitter “war” between the two brands. The witty and funny exchange piqued user interest and is a great example of how to stand out in an otherwise mundane Twitter feed.
Old Spice is an example of a brand that is at its best the further it allows itself to venture from routine and embrace its entertaining and just plain weird brand of humor.
3. Taco Bell
It makes sense that the fast food chain known for feeding many a midnight munchie would embrace playful banter and silly wisecracks on its social media accounts. Where @tacobell truly shines on Twitter is with the company’s witty one-liners, clever photo updates and hilarious comebacks that are sure to make you crack a smile.
One of the reasons their brand of humor works so well is that their hilarious tweets show that they’re human. They use their exchanges on social media to showcase their unique personality. That, and the fact that they react almost instantly if they’re called out, so you know they’re engaging with people in real time, give their Tweets a feeling of being relevant and authentic.
Charmin is a great example of a brand that uses humor to align with the products it sells. Who would have thought that discussing toilet paper would result in one of the most engaged social media communities on the planet? But that’s exactly what Charmin has done, and has done quite successfully. Its presence on Twitter (@Charmin) is a must-follow.
In fact, the company was named among the top “Sassiest brands on Twitter” for its hilarious banter with its audience and #tweetfromtheseat posts, which it uses to incorporate bathroom humor puns and to sometimes chime in on current news or pop culture.
Charmin’s feed aspires to a simple motto: “We believe that life is full of little pleasures.” It works because they keep a playful “mischief-maker” tone to break through all the noise on social media and they often say something unexpected, relevant and funny. The company’s Twitter minders know they aren’t going to please everyone, but those who do “get” the company’s humor love it.
Outdoor retailer Moosejaw has truly nailed its brand voice and mastered the art of using Twitter by letting its personality shine through. The outdoor retailer makes a point of not taking itself too seriously, and even calls itself “the most fun outdoor retailer on the planet.”
@MoosejawMadness is all about being original and finding the humor in life’s absurd details. They’re also careful to stay completely non-gimmicky.
Take, for example, this random Moosejaw tweet: “My will contains only one request: I want a motion detector on my tombstone with a speaker that plays Thriller whenever anybody is around.” That’s the kind of thing that would make you chuckle no matter who it came from.
The takeaway from their success is that always being professional will only put you in the category of “boring.” You have to give your audience something unexpected that will stick with them. Food humor is often thought-provoking and tongue-in-cheek. You also need to nurture your brand’s unique personality and come up with what works for you and what doesn’t.
In the battle to decide how America sleeps, Casper is aiming to be the Goldilocks of mattress brands — the one everyone likes and wants to own. It’s also become the internet’s favorite mattress store because of its humorous one-liners and the riddles it asks Twitterdom to solve. The “Tweeting Mattress” won the Shorty Award for Best Overall Twitter Presence thanks to its laugh-out-loud tweets and culturally on-point humor.
Its main objective is to raise awareness of the brand, and Casper does this by focusing on its personality. Whether it’s something as simple as “Today’s forecast: cloudy with a chance of naps” or “Go big or go to bed” meme, @Casper has perfected its cute and appropriate humor and tone, resulting in widespread marketing success.
In short, the mattress company uses social fodder to help it gain comic notoriety, not to mention a sizeable following on Twitter.
Denny’s is like that funny friend you like to have around because you know they’ll always say something to make you laugh. And on Twitter, their 140-characters-or-less wisecracks seem to tap into that surreal and sometimes nonsensical atmosphere its restaurants have around 4 a.m. on a Saturday night.
Usually bizarre, and always funny, @DennysDiner is an irreverent page devoted to pancakes, syrup and amusing (and strangely thought-provoking) memes. In true Denny’s fashion, it serves a dollop of humor with whatever current melee is taking place on Twitter.
The chain’s Twitter presence has also helped establish the brand with Millennials and Generation Z. Denny’s understands the importance of staying culturally relevant and continuing to feed its audience something other than (boring) business as usual.
This article first appeared in www.entrepreneur.com
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