I spend a lot of time yelling that you should avoid the hack, easy jokes that anyone can come up with.
There’s a good reason for that – they’re lazy and rarely convey anything about you or your company.
(All comedy comes from truth, remember?)
Your customers can smell the laziness of a hack joke a mile off, and that’s the second-worst smell they can whiff.
(Lynx Africa, in case you were wondering….).
I’m not a Harvard graduate you understand, but having your customers thinking you’re lazy, always looking for the “easy” and that you’re not prepared to put in any work is probably not a great business model.
“Lazy”, “easy” and “not prepared to put in any work” are not good qualities.
(Though they are all integral elements of my Tinder bio…)
Having said that, hack jokes DO have a place in comedy…
…but only if you use them right.
Simple. Use them as a starting point.
Staring at the blank page can be a bloody nightmare.
Creating something from nothing is hard work, so why not make it a bit easier for yourself?
Give yourself a springboard to new ideas by starting with some old, tired, done-to-death ones?
Find an old joke, write it down and look for a new angle or spin that you can apply to your work.
Tear it apart and put it back together again in a new way.
JT Pledger came up with a great example of this in the Facebook group. After I posted the Subway advert using the tired “S-E-X! Now that I have your attention…” gag.
“The billboard would have been better with the H1 at the bottom. A sort of reversal of font size. It could have easily been something like:
Let Subway make the sandwiches
So you don’t have to argue after
The giant SEX!! would still get the attention, and then make you laugh, and then crave… uhhh, a sandwich.”
That’s a superb twist on a very old, worn-out gag.
And now I’m craving a sandwich.
If you’re staring at a blank page, desperately struggling for ideas, write out the oldest, hackiest, most groan-inducing gag you know and start playing around with it.
See if you can turn it into something fresh and original.
P.S. The FREE Facebook group is a great place to go if you want to learn how to use humour in your business. If you’re not a member yet, why not?
I did tell you it was free, right? You can click here to go there right now!