Do funny sales videos work? Joseph Wilkins breaks down how to use humour to get your business noticed | UnNoticed Entrepreneur — public relations for business owners.
How Funny Sales Videos Help
Joseph grew up in London and lived there for 20 years. Now, he’s running a marketing agency that uses the power of video to generate sales.
If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re not using video, you’re missing out. Today, video is being used on every platform that you can imagine; it connects you with people — whether to drive immediate sales, educate your audience, or simply introduce your brand.
In foregoing the opportunity that video gives, you’re letting your competitors gain the market share you are losing.
Frankly speaking, many corporate-style videos end up being ignored. If you want your videos to be watched, you have to engage with people — but they don’t necessarily have to be funny.
Joseph compares marketing to a salad: You have to have all kinds of ingredients; not every single video should be funny because there’s a certain time and place for different types of video.
But after 15 years of producing television commercials, infomercials, and standard corporate videos, he realised that people tend to ignore the boring. For a top-of-the-funnel video or a first-impression video, they found that using humour is the best and most consistent way to not get ignored and for your audience to stop the scroll.
It’s not like how it used to be wherein people who watch TV shows would have to see your 30-second commercial spot. Today, you have to earn their interest and attention. You have to pique people’s curiosity and then tell them a story. Your first-impression video should be engaging, retaining, and ultimately relevant to advancing your story of how you can solve a problem that the viewer has. After that, your other videos don’t need to be nearly as entertaining because you’ve already got their attention. Instead, they should be educating and be more about furthering the buying cycle.
Joseph founded his agency about five years ago. And 20 years after running every kind of campaign that you can imagine, he can say that nothing is as effective as using humour.
The 8-Step Process to Making Effective Videos
The more you think humour isn’t for your company, the more Joseph says it actually is.
If your company has humans as customers and humans have emotions — will there be customers who won’t like to smile or laugh? However, you don’t just have to be silly. You have to be relevant and be able to speak to the audience. If the video is for a C-suite executive, it should be more clever; the humour should have higher intelligence and, at the same time, be relatable to problems that that kind of person has.
Typically, it takes them four months to produce videos for their clients. And the way they spend a lot of time on each step of their process is one reason why their campaigns are successful. These steps are:
Regardless of whether you do every one of these steps perfectly or not, you will get better results than what you’re currently doing. This is why you should never be afraid that you can’t do videos similar to what they’re doing at Funny Sales Videos.
But if you want to do a campaign that gets a hundred million views and millions of dollars in sales, you have to do every step professionally. It depends on how much money you can afford to shell out. Because at the end of the day, it’s still money in, money out. If you’re not yet ready for a full-blown campaign, you can start by initially doing some of the aforementioned steps to improve on what you’re currently doing.
Joseph, however, emphasised that two of these steps shouldn’t be done on your own if you’re really serious about results. These are writing and acting.
When you’re bringing in professionals to do these, you don’t have to break the bank. In Utah, a good actor is going to charge about $1,000 to $1,500 a day and most of their videos are shot in only one to two days. For writers, you can outsource them via freelance sites such as , , or in your local classified ads. There are many talented writers out there who work for reasonable rates.
If you pay for these two things — writing and acting — your video can already be doubled in quality.
Humour simply doesn’t travel across cultures. For instance, there’s a documentary called “ Exporting Raymond .” And it showed how Phil Rosenthal, creator of the hit sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” needed to hire Russian writers to successfully adapt the show for Russian audiences .
If you want to translate your video to other languages, keep in mind that it requires completely different writing and acting. Never try to take a video and just put subtitles on it because it will never work except in some circumstances (e.g. Funny Sales Videos have created videos that worked for audiences in Canada, the US, and the UK).
If you want to hit the bullseye, hire local writers and actors. Because the concept may travel, but the execution of that concept has to be localised.
To know the essence of good humour in a particular country, it’s important to start with research. You have to understand your customer avatar. And it’s not about age, income, or location — it’s about their behaviour and preference. What do they order at Starbucks? What music stations do they listen to? What journals do they read? Look into what defines your target demographic.
This is why in their agency, they spend time reading at least a hundred customer reviews so that they can understand the voice. They literally use lines from these reviews and put them in their videos.
For example, if they are to make a video about a protein shake and blender bottle product, they would go to Amazon and read a hundred reviews about it. This way, they’ll find out why people like it and which features they particularly like. If the product is a knockoff and offered by a startup and they don’t have a hundred customer reviews yet, what Joseph and his team would do is look at the reviews on their client’s competitors’ products. Because, essentially, the customers will be the same.
When they use lines from customers, they also don’t just focus on why people like a particular product. They also look for reasons why they don’t like the product and then state what makes the product that their client is offering different. If research and development are done right, it can really drive your marketing forward.
To make a video relatably funny, you should make sure that the writer who’s writing the script is at least in touch with the demographic of your customers. If you’re writing for older males, it will require a totally different bench of writers than what writing for younger females would need. This is where the beauty of online freelance marketplaces shines: Different writers are within your fingertips’ reach. You just have to test on your demographic.
For their detergent video campaign, their customer avatar is a man at home doing the laundry. In the first video that they created for the same product, their primary demographic was a woman.
That video generated complaints and heated comments but, again, the whole point is to create engagement (However, there’s a fine line that you should draw because you have to be careful not to be offensive and affect the value of your brand). In comments sent by women viewers, they pointed out that though they loved the video, it was a little one-sided and stereotypical for the woman at home to be doing the laundry.
They took that into consideration and it’s what actually led to the second video where they left it all to the man. The aptly titled “Real Men Do Laundry” video hit home with that secondary demographic, widening the number of people that their clients can sell to.
Getting His Marketing Agency Noticed
No matter which industry you’re in, you have to create the best product and spend zero money on advertising — just like what Elon Musk is doing with the electric vehicles of Tesla. For Funny Sales Videos, Joseph follows the same approach. He and his team produce the best videos that people will talk about.
Another approach that he does is creating free no-holds-barred training wherein he tells exactly how he does things. He also gets invited to and attends podcasts and speaking engagements (In August, he will be at Oxford University to attend a video marketing conference where he will discuss how to use humour to increase sales).
If you’re a business owner and you want to get noticed, you have to primarily make a fantastic product. Then, figure out a way how you can teach people to do the same thing. Don’t hold back — share everything and be transparent because there will be more opportunities that will come back to you than anything that might you lose if your customers knew how to do things themselves.
To hear more from Joseph Wilkins, you can listen to his podcast, “ How to Make a Video Go Viral .” To learn more about his agency, visit www.funnysalesvideos.com . On their website, you can download their free and schedule a free brainstorming session with them.
This article is based on a transcript from my podcast The UnNoticed Entrepreneur, you can listen here.