The ROI of a Laugh: How to Use Humor in Marketing

A joke is never as funny if you have to spell it out, but in this case we're dissecting a couple of well thought out marketing campaigns that do a great job of using humor.

Purple Mattress

I know it sounds a little funny to use a mattress company as an example of humor in marketing, but it's seriously one of the first brands that comes to mind when this topic is presented. If you've never seen any of their commercials, I highly suggest doing so. They're clever and present some really interesting characterizations. They create a storyline within a short time frame while also providing all of the information needed regarding their products.

One of their more popular commercials is centered around Goldilocks, their expert bed tester. In three minutes she easily explains how the raw egg test simulates where pressure is distributed throughout the body during sleep all while providing hilarious commentary. The information sticks because her characterization is perfect for this skit and the information provided isn't too detailed. Another example of this is their commercial featuring a Sasquatch mother who is fed up with lower-quality mattress toppers. The entire commercial is one continuous joke that sprinkles an appropriate amount of information throughout. One of my favorite lines, which I'm sure others will love is "Other toppers turn your bed crinkly or stiff and they make your mattress noisy, hot, and uncomfortable. Like a Nickelback concert." One-liners like these are abundant and absolutely get the point across that Purple Mattress is unlike the competition. The company truly knows what will hit home for their consumers and uses that to their advantage. 


Sometimes it can be difficult to produce content for platforms like Twitter. You only get so many characters and therefore you really need to hit home with the content quickly. Denny's is a fantastic example of a company that is using humor in social media effectively. If you've not read their Twitter feed then I implore you to do so. You will NOT be disappointed!

The majority of their content is quippy and entertaining with useful information divvied throughout. This brand is so successful because their tweets are so incredibly relatable. How many times have you thought about something - THOUGHT, not searched for or even talked about - and seen a targeted ad for it relatively soon thereafter? I can tell you it's happened to me on several occasions. Denny's caught on to this and replied with: "the reason you see our ads so often in because we can read your mind. You think about your ex and pancakes a lot." This is too funny, and way too real. It makes followers interested in their content, so as they follow along with the hilarity they wind up seeing deals being promoted. It seems so casual, but it works into consumers' feed perfectly. Bravo, Denny's!


Philly, Philly! Need I say more? This was one of the most prevalent marketing campaigns of the year - and for good reason. Anheuser-Busch listened to their consumers and played off of their interests. With Game of Thrones being one of the most popular shows on television right now, Bud Light created a campaign with a series of commercials that mimic the medieval setting found on the show and gave it a humorous undertone.

One example focuses on a man who escapes a treacherous dungeon to come back carrying a case of Bud Light. When another prisoner questions his decision to return, everyone else cries out in protest because they all want their favorite brew. The brand took it a step further when the Eagles not only made it into the Super Bowl, but won. The series continued with the king announcing that "The injury gods threw mud at you, but the perseverance gods wiped you off and patted your behind. So for you, I'll say it only once: Philly Philly." Playing off of the pride of Philadelphia fans shows that Anheuser-Busch understands their demographic and gives us another reason to love this fan favorite.

It can be difficult to use humor in marketing. Sometimes campaigns focus too much on trying to be funny and lose sight of the fact that they're still trying to sell something. It's a fine line, but the call to action and supporting information need to be present and highlighted. Take the lead of these brands and listen to your audience, be relatable, and do what's right for your brand.

What's Old is New Again - How to Use Nostalgia in Marketing

Nostalgia has always been an important tool for marketers to employ when they want to evoke emotions from their consumers. Especially now, with the craziness going on in the world these days, this tool has become even more significant. There is currently a strong resurgence of the theme, “what’s old is new again.” Below is a look at some examples of nostalgia in action, and how nostalgia is being used in different marketing strategies.

1.     Pokemon Go. Come on, you knew this was coming! Pikachu, Charmander and the other original starter Pokemon were a phenomenon in the 90’s, then more or less disappeared out of the limelight. Well boy, are they back with a vengeance! Their team figured out the best way to make them relevant again was to capitalize on the digital age. They are now dominating the news and the gaming world by using digital in a relatively new medium - augmented reality.

Marketing insight:  If your brand is feeling stale or worn-out, breathe new life into it by figuring out if there’s a way to capitalize on some of the available digital mediums. 


2.   Fuller House. Uncle Jesse - Have Mercy! So I’ll admit that I haven’t seen Fuller House yet, however, most people over the age of 15 have seen at least one episode of the original series Full House. We are seeing a serious resurgence of TV shows coming together again…Gilmore Girls, The X-Files, etc. The reason this concept works is because the generation that grew up loving Full House is eager to recall their younger, innocent and less stressful years when they watched the show, and even more so, they want to see how the characters have evolved in their lives just like the viewers have evolved in their own.

Marketing Insight: If your brand has been around for awhile, it’s fun to recognize and appreciate those earlier years. Bring back old packaging for a limited time, compare your old location to your new location in side-by-side pictures, etc. This shows consumers how much your brand/company has grown, but also brings them back to remembering “the good old days.”


3.     Ghostbusters. Who ya gonna call? The female version of Ghostbusters! The premise remains the same: Fight ghosts and get some laughs along the way. However, instead of casting younger male actors and adding a couple more digital features, the creators decided to have an all female cast. This may lose some nostalgic value for viewers who loved the original movie, but it’s very timely with the various initiatives for women’s empowerment occurring right now.

Marketing Insight: Now could be a good time to change up a piece of your company’s core marketing, while still keeping true to your brand. Always running the same promotions? Maybe it’s time to throw some new ones into the mix. Stay true to your company’s core values, but change it up a little every now and then to keep your marketing fresh and exciting.


4.     Major League Sports Teams. At one time or another, most major league sports teams have turned back the clock on their uniforms. Since the Phillies are my hometown team, I’ll use them as an example. Not only do they wear nostalgic uniforms, but they even host a themed night called ‘Retro Night.’

Marketing Insight: If there’s a family component to your company, it’s nice to allow parents to feel like they’re experiencing something they did when they were children before they had their own offspring. You don’t need throwback uniforms to make that happen, but it’s a nod to the past while embracing the future.


5.     Crystal Pepsi. Who remembers the clear cola Pepsi came out with? Welp, it’s coming back next month. With its retro packaging in all it’s glory.

Marketing Insight: Sometimes re-introducing something from the past brings consumers back to your brand. If I have been drinking Coke recently, but loved Crystal Pepsi, there’s a chance that when I buy Crystal Pepsi, I’ll get that warm and fuzzy feeling (halo effect) thinking about the times I used to drink Crystal Pepsi. This feeling may lead me to continue purchasing Pepsi even when Crystal’s re-release is over.


Even if your company is not a mature brand, it can still incorporate some nostalgia into its marketing or creative as long as it makes sense for the brand. Incorporate an old song that brings back good memories or use black and white pictures/vintage creative. Today, more so than ever, many of us are wishing for the good old days. Now’s the time to capitalize on this sentiment. 

5 Reasons You Should Unlink Your Personal & Professional Social Media Accounts

As Elysium Marketing Group began managing some of our clients’ social media, we noticed that some of the profiles were not aesthetically or topically on-brand. The deeper we dug, the more we saw the companies’ leaders’ personal interests, political preferences, and sense of humor peeking through their accounts.

While many brands are built by strong leaders with equally strong points of view, the bottom line is that the founder(s) and the company(s) are two separate entities.

Below are five reasons why you should separate your social accounts from your business accounts.

1.     Relevance – One of the most important things to keep in mind when planning your upcoming social media strategy is to ensure you’re giving your followers what they’re looking for.  

If you’re a national jewelry company, most likely your followers are following because (a). they like jewelry, (b). they like your jewelry, and/or (c). they like the fashion/accessory industry. If you personally like baseball as well as jewelry, it doesn’t mean your followers/customers do too. The bottom line is if you start to post too many irrelevant posts that aren’t related to your industry, your followers are likely to unfollow your account, leaving you with fewer people to engage with and market to.

2.     Sensitive Topics – Politics are a BIG deal in 2016. Many people have very intense feelings about the candidates, the political parties, and the direction of the United States. While opinions on these topics are plentiful, it’s best to keep them separate from your business or your clients. You don’t want to alienate followers/customers/clients who may have differing views.

3.     Sensitive Topics Part II – Politics isn’t the only topic that can divide people. Posting about religion or race is also content that could cause some followers to feel uneasy, plus normally it would not relate to your brand’s business goals.

4.     Old Content - We’ve seen people who start a social media account as a personal account, then decide to change the page to a business account. The problem with this is when a follower decides to take a more in-depth look at the company, they could start to see personal photos or irrelevant photos that are separate from the objectives of your business.

5.     Security – Most business owners don’t have time to manage their business’ social media profiles. Whether an in-house employee or outsourced social media expert begins to manage the accounts, you don’t want to give your personal passwords out to anyone. It’s better to keep your personal passwords private, but share your business passwords with the professionals or team.

What we’re definitely not saying is you can’t have fun on social media. If your brand lends itself to it, have SO much fun. Post fun memes and awesome gifs, but please keep it business related. As the wise Michael Corleone from The Godfather says, “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”  Social media wasn’t around when this movie came out, but we’re pretty sure he’d agree with us that this saying would apply to your social media accounts as well.  

5 Ways to Grow Your Social Media User-Base (Without Begging)

The Elysium Marketing Group social media interns created a satirical video making fun of ‘The Plight of a Social Media Intern.’ Like most humorous videos and articles, it’s funny because there’s a hint of truth behind it. Sometimes as social media account managers, it feels as if the only way to grow the page’s user base and engage its fans is to ask (or beg) everyone you know (or don’t know) to interact with the page. 

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