There’s a lot of overlap between the most effective ads you’ll see online — and the goofiest, most ridiculous ads you’ve ever laid eyes on.
Humor and creativity sell, especially today. Consumers are up to their necks in generic ads that don’t even try to earn their attention, or add anything meaningful to their day. They all blend together in a uniform verbal and visual goo that goes into one ear… and straight out the other.
So the videos that do go the extra mile and bring something fresh and fun to the table?
They attract high-quality attention from customers: not just mindless views, but comments, clicks, and eventually sales.
So today, let’s see what we could learn from those goofy, ridiculous, yet devastatingly effective ads!
For this week’s article, I hand-picked 5 marketing videos from different industries that stood out to me, made me laugh, or otherwise stuck in my memory. And I’m going to share them with you right now, along with one lesson showing you what makes each video work.
You will learn:
- How to make your message impossible to ignore (and you don’t even have to be funny to use this strategy!)
- One super simple method to make an hilarious video… that still makes your business look professional and trustworthy.
- A time-honored creative hack that will make your video stand out instantly, even in a sea of competition.
- The #1 ingredient behind ideas that stick — use this to make any marketing message unforgettable.
- How to keep viewers glued to their screens… by doing the opposite of what feel-good ads usually do.
Let’s dive in with our first laugh-out-loud funny but wildly persuasive example…
1. Speak your customers’ language, fluently
Aaand right away I’m breaking the rules by showing you two videos at once. It’s completely justified, though! Because if you watch these side-splitting ads back to back, you will notice something remarkable…
The brand responsible (Culprit Underwear) sells mens’ and womens’ underwear. So like any sensible company, they create marketing assets to align with what each audience wants / needs to hear.
If you study the differences between the two videos, it’s a masterclass on how to talk to your target market in their own language!
Notice the specific objections that get raised, scenarios that are shown, as well as the tone / style of humor. It’s unmistakably the same brand voice, but the way it’s deployed in either ad is super distinctive.
Here’s just one example: the men’s video specifically addresses the price question — because it assumes (correctly!) they are not used to dropping more than $20 for a 3-pack of underpants. And the analogy with a $20 tattoo is just brilliant and hilarious.
If you can communicate with customers the same way they talk about themselves, your marketing will be impossible to ignore. Literally: if you descend into the comments to either of those ads, you will see people say things like, “This is the first ad I haven’t skipped in 5 years.”
Do you want your videos to mesmerize customers like that? Then ditch generic language and learn to communicate like your audience does, whoever they might be!
2. Hilarious AND professional? It’s possible — here’s how
The Video: Jason Momoa 2020 Super Bowl Commercial (by Rocket Mortgage)
This is a curious one. You will notice that all the goofiness in this video is limited to the visuals, while the narration is played completely straight.
So what we get is a delightful contrast between “Game of Thrones” / “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa literally stripping off his biceps, abs, and hair… and the audio describing how important it is to feel comfortable in your home.
The end result is both more and less ridiculous than if the creators of the video tried hard to make it as wild and creative as possible.
And it works! The ad comes across as both hilarious and utterly “on brand” — all thanks to this well-struck balance. This is a practice you can easily steal and stash it in your back pocket for when you need to make a video that’s memorable and yet professional.
Experiment with comedic contrast between what your video shows vs. what it says.
Visuals are often the best place to push the boundaries of propriety in your videos. If you don’t want to take any bold risks with your scripted voiceover, that’s understandable. But the imagery gives you so much more wiggle room for low-key but impactful creativity.
And it pays off! When an otherwise by-the-book ad pulls a visual joke on the viewer, they remember it. Case in point: it’s been nearly 2 years since Super Bowl 2020, and I still remembered this ad well enough to feature it in this article.
Never thought I’d be thinking about skinny and balding Jason Momoa this much, but hey — that’s the power of video for you!
3. This weird trick will help you stand out INSTANTLY
The Video: When Satan Met 2020 (a Match.com ad)
This is a video ad for Match.com (the dating service) made by Maximum Effort — a marketing agency / video production company founded by Ryan Reynolds. Now there’s a sentence I didn’t know I’d ever write!
Yes, that Ryan Reynolds, the Hollywood mega star. But that’s beside the point. What is 100% on point is this ad, y’all!
This is a seriously compelling video. It’s relatively simple, featuring two actors on a single set — even if one of them is wearing an elaborate costume; and apart from the ridiculous premise, it’s played almost completely straight with very few jokes.
And yet, this ad is hilarious. Why is that?
This video works so well thanks to a tried and true storytelling trick:
Taking a familiar, universally known format, structure, or trope…
…and putting a creative, quirky twist on it.
In this case, the trope is two people sitting on a couch and talking about their relationship on camera — something we’ve all seen a gazillion times. But make those people the literal Devil and the human embodiment of 2020, and suddenly it feels fresh and new again!
This technique works wonders when you have to create something that needs to stand out from the crowd, but the competition is overwhelming. Something like… an ad! (But also a resume, a website bio, an application letter, you name it.)
Use it, and you will capture everyone’s attention from the first second!
4. Make your marketing message stick like a barnacle
The Video: Dark Gummies (by Drug-Free Kids Canada)
This 30-second ad is a drug PSA about cannabis edibles. There is zero spoken narration, zero fear-mongering, and zero scientific jargon — just half a minute of gummy bears gleefully wrecking everything in sight, followed by a low-key call to action.
The organization behind the video knew that traditional PSAs get forgotten by viewers about 0.137 seconds after they’re done watching.
So in order to have any hope of getting through to parents, guardians, and caretakers (the ad’s target audience), they had to trash the playbook of how these ads are normally done — and come up with something so striking and vivid that it would stay with people for good.
And hoo boy, did they ever!
Here’s why this PSA succeeds, unlike so many other videos of its type…
To be properly “sticky” and worm its way into your customers’ hearts and minds, your message needs a compelling container. It needs to be wrapped in a high-concept idea that makes people instantly “get” what you’re trying to say.
So, in this paradigm…
- Citing the science of how weed edibles work on kids’ brains and bodies = low concept, unmemorable.
- Showing some gummy edibles absolutely wreck house = high concept, instantly memorable!
Vivid metaphors and analogies can be excellent vehicles for delivering your message in a “sticky” way. They’re fun, they’re easier to remember, and they connect with people viscerally — in other words, they’re a godsend for marketers and entrepreneurs!
Next time you need to create a video on a sophisticated, complex topic, try to come up with a high concept for it first. It will make your job much easier, and make your marketing video hit ten times harder.
5. The #1 way to keep people glued to their screens
The Video: Easy Photo Books with Chatbooks (by Chatbooks)
When you think about photo books, what comes to mind? Familial bliss and harmony, watching your children grow up, priceless blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments that you want to capture for posterity…
Well, that’s not how this video goes at all.
This Chatbooks ad leans heavily into the other side of family life: hectic, stressful, and yes — exhausting to the point where a good night’s sleep or a full meal seem like incredible luxuries! Instead of choosing the easy way out and appealing to generic feel-good platitudes, it mines the very depths of its customers’ frustrations in a very authentic, unexpected way.
And that’s why it works so well! The video takes the common stereotypes that apply to its target audience… and subverts them to reveal something much more true to life and satisfying.
There are two ways you can position your offer: as a “vitamin” that adds something nice to have to your customers’ lives… or as a “painkiller” that solves a persistent, painful problem they have.
And even though it looks like both of these are equally valid, painkiller positioning is actually far more effective most of the time! And that’s exactly the route this video ad chooses to go down.
Instead of tapping into the generic positivity of capturing treasured memories, it aligns the USP of Chatbooks with the stress and the hectic pace of family life… and the countless frustrations associated with making conventional photo books! And as a result, it crafts a much more compelling narrative.
So next time you need to make a video about your product or service, think long and hard about the pains and problems that drive your ideal customers. Because that is often where you’ll find your magnetic message!
Let’s alchemize your irresistible message — here’s how
It doesn’t take a sleek-looking ad with a 6-figure budget to get your ideal prospects’ attention (even though it helps!). All you really need is the right message, formulated in a way they can’t ignore.
The kind of message that instantly carves through all the noise and compels your ideal customers to respond with the all-important words…
“Tell me more.”
What if you had a message like that at your disposal? One that perfectly captures what makes your business / offer so awesome and life altering; one that’s scientifically designed to persuade and convert; and most importantly — one that could accomplish all of that in 30 seconds or less?
I know what you’re thinking, “There’s no way I can hook people on my business in 30 seconds!” I disagree. My team has already helped dozens of businesses formulate an irresistible Elevator Pitch — and we want to create one for you, too.
All you need is to hop on a 30-minute consultation with one of our expert copywriters here at The Draw Shop. They will help you define the problem you solve, how you solve it, and the life-changing results your customers will see from working with you.
Then we’ll transform your input into a unique Elevator Pitch for your brand — a powerful 30-second statement scientifically designed to stand out, delight, persuade… and convert.
And we’ll top it off with a one-page, one-of-a-king infographic that makes your pitch into an engaging visual story! That’s going to be a valuable marketing asset in its own right — you can…
- Share it with your team
- Feature it on your website
- Use it in your email signature
- Put it on the back of your business card
- Spread it on social media