Creating Connections: 2 Critical Ingredients for a Killer Startup Ad Campaign

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Unexpected, fun messaging is key to a successful ad campaign. Don't let your ad dollars be wasted on ineffective ads.

Getting a company off the ground can seem impossible. There are so many different things competing for your time and energy.

It’s your responsibility to prioritize and find ways to create value while minimizing capital expenditure.

Thankfully, the world of digital advertising offers a variety of solutions for advertising and educating your future customers, without breaking the bank.

But remember, a good marketing plan is about more than just making money and increasing ROI.

You need to reach out to your customers; inspire them, make them think and try to be memorable.

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Get Creative and Make People Laugh

Life can be a grind. Things stack up on the to-do list and there’s always something that needs to be tended to. But, thanks to the Internet, a little laughter and levity are only a few clicks away.

Your advertising efforts should seek to bring joy, laughter and a meaningful distraction to its viewers. If it’s funny and creative enough, it could go viral; expanding your organic reach.

Marketing pros should take note of the fact that funny videos receive millions of views on YouTube. Shows on television, like America’s Funniest Home Videos, run for years on end. All of the major television broadcast channels have different versions of NBC’s The Tonight Show; designed to make audiences laugh while informing them of the things taking place that day.

And, of course, you can’t forget the Super Bowl; one of the only sporting events where more than half of the people watching are looking forward to the funny, outrageous commercials.

The internet is more than YouTube videos containing clips of Super Bowl commercials. Print or online advertising can be funny and unexpected too. Take, for example, this viral Truck ad on Gumtree. How do you describe a truck that’s listed for sale?

Well, if you want to make a memorable impression, you might describe it as…”a man truck” with a bull bar “forged from samurai swords”, a super winch that can “stop the earth’s rotation” and a front facing snorkel that can “suck clouds right out of the sky.”

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Hit Them With the Unexpected

While creating a funny ad campaign is a great start, you need to make sure that your brand is memorable. To do this, you need to go beyond funny and focus on creating something involving your brand that is surprising. But don’t just take my word for it. An article published on Cognitive Daily discussed the strengths of creating a funny ad, versus a surprising ad.

Based on research completed by James J. Kellaris and Thomas W. Cline, it’s clear that an unexpected twist in an ad is the most effective strategy for creating a memorable impact on an audience. Those who enjoy humor love funny advertisements, regardless of whether it’s an expected or unexpected funny moment.

On the other hand, those who aren’t fans of comedy still remembered the brand/product being advertised if the funny moment was unexpected. If an expected twist, then their memory of the event will not reliably extend to the brand or product.

How Can Your Team Create an Effective Ad Campaign That’s Funny and Surprising?

Clearly funny and surprising are two important factors in creating a killer ad campaign. But, as a startup on a budget, how do you make this work in your marketing plan?

Start with a Killer Website

Investing time, money and resources into a quality web presence is key. While you might not be able to afford a multi-million dollar TV ad buy, you can absolutely find ways to make an impact online. All of your marketing efforts need to drive future customers to your website, where they will hopefully convert into paying customers. Consult with experts, review other industry sites closely and make sure your site is accessible on all platforms.

Create a YouTube Channel

Your team has a unique story to share. Take a page out of Blendtec’s playbook and create a channel designed to excite and engage future customers. The content should be informative and potentially viral. Blendtec’s Will It Blend series on YouTube has been touted as one of the more effective online advertising campaigns.

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The only limit on what your advertising campaign can do is your imagination. Even with a meager ad budget, there are plenty of free mediums to advertise your product or service. Build a connection with your audience while making them laugh. Future millionaire, you will thank you.

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