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Ingredient n°5 Humour for brands (and not just in advertisement)


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Ingredient n°5 Humour for brands (and not just in advertisement)

  1. 1. « I hear Patricia talk about the content of this book and I feel like she does the research I don’t have the time to do. » Alexandra Dimiziani, director of Content Excellence, The Coca-Cola Company People tend to favour using the least amount of energy, such as taking the escalator rather than going up the staircase right next to it, yet sometimes they can be observed exhibiting bizarre behaviour such as queuing all night just to buy a pair of shoes, or 11year- olds who never liked reading are seen devouring books bigger than their heads... This naturally led me to wonder: why is that? What is it that creates fans? And why do we become devoted fans of something while our neighbour couldn’t care less? So I looked in the common factors shared among products, books, films, restaurants, websites and companies, all which have elicited an unconditional fan base, which led me to determine that they share six essential ingredients. Maybe sharing these ingredients with the world will help us create even more fantastic things. You now hold in your hands the fifth ingredient to that wonderful emotion that turns normal people into screaming fans, that wonderful emotion of J’adooore. This book is for : • Motivated entrepreneurs, • Designers of all kinds, • eople in charge of product development, the ones that want to make a difference, P • arketing teams who know that word of mouth and true genuine emotions are the M best, • ommunity managers who strive to be part of the conversation, and don’t always hold C all the strings, About the author Patricia Gallot-Lavallée is an Experience Designer. She participates to the conception of products, services and communication strategies in order to help brands provoke “positive” emotions in their audience. Through this book she shares her research on emotional design. • y little sister used the six ingredients to create her baby boy’s very first party, so it M seems that this book is for anyone eager to create great products and experiences for their target audience. J ADOOOR E Patricia is also a mobilized teacher, at the Institute of Internet and Multimedia. She has a 10 year background in user experience and web strategy. If you are power seeking, malevolent or plain-evil, please step away from this book. , She lives in hectic Paris with her ever-so-cute family. • eachers who are very much aware of the potential sitting in front of them, T Six ingredients that create fans 05 humour E n PDF version 9 Eur - Print 21 Eur Cover design by Ronald Texier Updates about this book : K e n a z a r t x p e r i e c e D e s i g n e r s
  2. 2. to e-motion
  3. 3. , J ADOOORE K e n a z a r t E x p e r i e n c e D e s i g n e r s
  4. 4. Six ingredients that create fans 05humour
  5. 5. Ingredient No.5 of J’adooore Table of Contents Introduction to the J’adooore series 08 11 strategies to create humour when you are a brand 85 J’adooore fifth ingredient 21 17 types of humour for brands and products 28 Incongruity Weird and particularly enthusiastic movements Wordplays and puns Laughter through recognition Complicity Consistency with ones character Metaphors, comparisons and analogies References [Interview] Charlotte Garin, Innocent Drinks Repetitions Sarcasm, irony, cynicism Simplified truth Relief through laughter Over exaggerated or unflattering truth Slapstick or over-exaggerated physical violence [Case Study] Lego video game of licensed material Outrecuidance, self-assurance Superiority Stereotypes strike back Ridicule 34 38 40 47 48 52 54 56 58 62 64 66 69 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 86 87 88 89 90 92 94 96 98 99 100 Create a mascot Personify objects Be silly Have silly goals Give names Embrace the tension Surf the news Hop on the context State the obvious Know your audience Be shocking... in a benign manner Three strategies to make people smile Make the connection Be whimsical [Interview] Penny Anderson, TreacleMoon Use drawings and movement 103 104 106 110 How NGOs can raise awareness 113 Conclusion 119 Frequently asked questions 126 Check-list for laughter (120). Interviews : Innocent Drinks (58), TreacleMoon (106). J’ADOOORE SIX INGREDIENTS THAT CREATE FANS 6 7
  6. 6. It was the beginning of November and I was finally taking my 3-day retreat to Brussels. I stayed at the Bloom Hotel. My days were filled with walks in the city and stopping at cafés or restaurants to enjoy my book... or books, I should say. At some point, as I was savouring my dinner at a nice restaurant, the waitress asked me what I was reading. As I gave her the title of my book, she replied that she would have the kitchen hold the next dish for a while. With a beaming smile, she added: “I understand now”. She knew what it felt like to read the Twilight saga. I was at a point in my career where I didn’t have much motivation to carry on being a website expert. I would spend all of my energy helping users that I rarely met face to face, leaving me feeling lonely and disconnected. I spent endless days protecting them from a horde of technical glitches and marketing professionals in order to just keep the website simple. It’s not that this vocation was bad, but it wasn’t providing any new challenges. As I was walking through the city, I realized that I was looking for Why this book? something. Perhaps every time I walk in a city, no matter which city, no matter which country, I am always looking for the same thing. My blog had a specific section just for this. The one containing the most posts, actually. As I was walking through Brussels, I was looking for shops, restaurants, activities...with a look, a concept... an experience. Lush, the fancy soap company, wasn’t satisfying for me any longer; I had seen them in New York, London and Paris. I guess that I’m always looking for the same thing whether I am in Helsinki, Stockholm, Montreal, Porto, or Barcelona. I’m looking for places with a signature experience. When I discovered the Mr. Potato-Head-all-you-canfit-in-the-box-challenge in New York, I was satisfied. The concept is as follows: no matter how many pieces of the Mr. Potato Head collection (ears, hats, shoes, bag,...) you manage to put in the box, as long as it closes, you pay a flat rate of $18. When I discovered that a youth hostel in Stockholm had rooms on a river boat, I was satisfied. As I was walking in the streets of Brussels, thinking about my great book, my great hotel room, this great little café by the Parliament; I was thinking that there should be more great books that you don’t want to put down, more great restaurants that people are willing to queue to get into, more hotels where you are just delighted to open your hotel room’s door.And this is what was missing from my profession. I was working hard on taking away elements of negative emotions, frustration, anger, misunderstanding, and complexity instead of doing what the entertainment companies do: generate positive emotions... on purpose. I would spend all my energy making websites easy to use, instead of making them great to use. That was it... I finally had gotten it. I wanted to become an experiential designer, a designer whose purpose was to generate emotions. I wanted more of those great products on Earth. I wanted to make our everyday life more fun, delightful, even –dare I say– fulfilling. Once I was back in Paris, I decided that I needed to increase my technical skills. Throughout the last 10 years, my hobby has been personal development: I acquired some knowledge about the flow as described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the languages of love... but I needed more. I’m a technical gal; I need data, I need patterns, I need analysis. Checking out the psychology curriculum in several universities made me pass on that option. I didn’t want to have my brain focused on diseases and pathologies. As I couldn’t find a university curriculum that would teach me and certify me as an expert on positive emotions, I decided to write a book. From my previous experience writing a book, I had realized that it was a great way to simultaneously collect information, get interviews, reflect on topics from a distance as well as provide focus. J’ADOOORE SIX INGREDIENTS THAT CREATE FANS INTRODUCTION TO THE J’ADOOORE SERIES 8 9
  7. 7. I was going to look into emotions, one at a time. I had ideas for several “Pride: what is it that makes us proud to work for a company?’’ “Passion: what produces the spark that lights the fire?’’ And “J’adooore: what is it that creates fans?’’ books: What made me write this book Have you noticed how some people are willing to queue all night long, on a chilly November night, just to be able to get a pair of €130 Jimmy Choo shoes? Have you noticed how some people are willing to wait in line, in freezing December, in order to get the new iPhone, the same one that will be available in all the shops the very next day? Have you noticed how some teenagers, although averse to English lessons, are willing to break the law and download episodes of their favourite American TV shows in its original versions as soon as they air an episode in the US? Have you noticed how “I-show-no-interest-in-books” 9-year-old children are happy to pick up a 700-page book and can’t wait for the next one? Have you noticed, how the “I-never-read” teenager reads the same book 3 times in a row? J’ADOOORE SIX INGREDIENTS THAT CREATE FANS INTRODUCTION TO THE J’ADOOORE SERIES 10 11
  9. 9. As a web strategist, an expert in user experience and a teacher, I have come to realize that human beings do not always opt for the best solutions; they merely pick the option that hurts the least. Give them the option of using an escalator when they have but a few stairs to climb, and they will pick the escalator. But then, if human beings tend to choose the solution that requires they exert the least amount of energy possible, how can we explain the energy they -quite contently- expend on acquiring things such as the newest iGadget, the latest Harry Potter book, a seat in the movie theatre for the newly released episode from Star Wars or the new Sonia Rykiel HM collection? If emotions put people in motion, one has to wonder what triggers this desire, this very energy that sets them in action. What makes them ever so happy to be at a certain place, doing a certain thing? And why? Why is it that, in some cases, we expend way more energy and time than we normally would for these things? What makes people become fans of a product or service? What makes us say “I looove it”? What makes us behave like J’adooore? Three weeks A few months had gone by. It was the beginning of April and I was at my office. There were no ongoing contracts that were giving me the opportunity to procrastinate. I had three weeks to go before my next class. I was worried; I had been telling everyone that I was an experiential designer. I didn’t see what I could do to get new business. Usually, business opportunities find me. Perhaps my professional network was a bit confused by this new field of expertise. I knew I was stuck. The J’adooore project hadn’t moved an inch. I had no leads. My research hadn’t progressed at all. I could feel the stress stirring up inside of me. Have I made a mistake? Is my company ever going to survive this rough patch? Will I go bankrupt? Will I have to shut down and go back to a 9-to-5 job making web applications for banks and insurance companies? I remembered my quest; I recalled the feeling of addiction that the Twilight saga brought upon me. I could visualize my brother and my students bragging over the utter greatness of their iGadgets, pushing them on others, again and again. I knew my creativity was going to shut down if I kept on stressing out like that. I recalled that establishing a deadline could trigger help from the right side of my brain. But I was still all wired up. So I got up from my desk and poured myself a glass of water. I think it all happened as I was walking back to my chair. At that precise moment, I made a decision: I chose to go down the road that led me to all this.. I reasoned with myself that it wouldn’t be the first time that my bank would call me if I overdrew my account. I reasoned that I could always find work if I needed to, that the concept of J’adooore and the whole experience design idea deserved it: it deserved the risk. And there it was... I chose to give up control and dedicate a full three weeks to it. Pattern recognition What happened next is kind of a blur. I think that I started looking at lists of blockbuster films, then I printed out images. Earlier on I had bought a few big, fat sketchbooks, because I liked the look of them, without even knowing exactly what I was going to do with them. I think that at some point I went back to rereading a Twilight book, just because I felt like it.... I started to collect images of great products in films and TV series; all extracts that have been the source of the emotion of J’adooore. As I was cutting them out from magazines and the like, ideas would come to me. Then somehow I started gluing them on the sketchbook, which became more of a scrapbook. Sometimes even ripping them out and gluing them somewhere else. I would leave lots of blank pages in between each composition, which was starting to look like the sections of chapters in this eclectic scrapbook. I remember the excitement I felt as I saw it for the first time... the pattern, the thing that kept us all from putting down a page turner. The image was very clear in my head. I drew it, cut it out and glued it into the scrapbook. As I was doing that, I noticed a pattern in Apple’s marketing techniques (see Ingredient 3). One thing led to another. During that period, each morning I worked out my creative muscle by applying Tim Burton’s advice, which was given through Alice’s character: “Every morning, have seven impossible ideas”. Each morning, as I was enjoying my morning coffee, I thought of my seven impossible ideas. They were all filled with incongruity, and seemed quite impossible... apart from one. One seemed not so impossible! I thought this as soon as the idea crossed my mind, and bang! I had another chapter. I have a confession to make: further on during the process, as I was writing out these ideas in order to print them out, I had many slips of the tongue or of the keyboard. And instead of just correcting them, I tried to take a deeper look: Was there something to hear? To see? And yes, sometimes there was. The humour chapter made me feel that I had a great job: can you imagine having to read and classify jokes as part of your job? My confidence in J’adooore and in the whole concept of experiential design was growing. I was acquiring the data, I was getting down to the technical bits, the engineering of emotions. And while so many companies wanted to conquer social media, I had the know-how and I could help them join the momentum. Yes in, No out Since it was just me in my home office putting all this together, I needed guidelines. I conducted a J’adooore study, but it wasn’t good enough for me. I needed accurate measurements, a test that I could rely on. A test to analyse an element as a reason for the J’adooore feeling. So I chose my emotions. If I felt the emotion, then the example could be put in the book. Of course, things that make me laugh don’t necessarily make others laugh. Things that I J’adooore, others don’t necessarily J’adooore. J’ADOOORE SIX INGREDIENTS THAT CREATE FANS INTRODUCTION TO THE J’ADOOORE SERIES 14 15
  11. 11. From my examples, I identified certain patterns, then I tested out these patterns with people around me. It’s interesting to observe how people behave whenever you tell them about a pattern. They test it out internally with their own examples and when it works they say: “Yes it’s true”, and if it doesn’t work with their examples, they come up with arguments and say:“it depends”. And so, I kept the patterns that obtained a lot of “Yes, it’s true” as replies, and I incorporated those concepts into the book. My already big scrapbook was fattening up and my gluing supplies ran out twice. It was all beginning to come together. Who is this book for? One particular day I recall that I was doing my write-750-words-a-day- challenge (, a type of writing exercise, private, unfiltered, spontaneous and done on a daily basis) going on about my experience with the Twilight saga and my looove of the Friends TV show, my open question still wandering from my mind... and bang! It all came to me. I must have stood in my bed for 30 to 45 minutes, looking up, down, sideways: the last chapter, the key ingredient, the base of it all, had come to me. I could hardly believe it. It was now so obvious. So I wrote J’a-d-o-o-o-r-e in big letters right on the red cover of my scrapbook, and decided that six chapters were enough. Three weeks had gone by. User testing Like Martha Kauffman and David Crane, the creators of Friends, I test out my products with end users over and over. I fight the fear of having my ideas stolen and I give them up to the judgement of others. I showed, and sometimes even lent, my precious scrapbook to friends in marketing positions at multinational organizations, to entrepreneurs, to people in charge of product development. Some of them are very much like squirrels when it comes to gathering information about branding and experiential marketing; others have big shot agencies pitching ideas to them all the time. To my surprise, people still wanted to hold on to my product. Sometimes, they had questions, so I finished the chapters with answers to their questions. Some other times, they said that the examples where too repetitive, so I tried to diversify them. In picking my examples, I made sure that they were about products that people went crazy for (queuing in the rain, buying the same DVD three times). You might not like those specific brands, books, movies or TV shows, but a sizable market does. And I believe that that’s something worth paying attention to. The funny part about this whole adventure is the end users all adored the scrapbook. It now looks stained and scruffy, like a well-loved teddybear. A creativity consultant, who lives in France but used to work at MIT, seemed the most interested in the scrapbook, particularly in the method I used. So I thought I should share all this with a wider readership, which includes you. When I started this project, I was single and childless. This allowed me to work on J’adooore between 14 to 16 hours per day. As a 30-something female, I struggle to be neat and pretty but I have to admit that I’m happiest when I’m working on a fascinating project with pieces of scotch tape in my hair. Almost 3 years have gone by for you to finally hold this book in your hands. It is the time it took me to have a baby, sharpen my understanding of J’adooore, gather all the interviews and tranform my scrapbook into a faithful rendition of my original project. Entrepreneurs Marketing groups Product developers Teachers Artists And anyone who wants to create engaging experiences with products, branding, educational courses, art pieces... I hope you will enjoy what my right and left hemisphere have managed to put together. And that you will join me on my now established mission of having more J’adooore in the world. J’ADOOORE SIX INGREDIENTS THAT CREATE FANS INTRODUCTION TO THE J’ADOOORE SERIES 18 19
  12. 12. , J ADOOORE Ingredient No. 5
  13. 13. You’re reading Harry Potter? But it’s for children?! I know but it’s funny. J’ADOOORE SIX INGREDIENTS THAT CREATE FANS INGREDIENT N°05 HUMOUR WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF J’ADOOORE 22 23
  14. 14. It’s 1998, and J. K. Rowling is being interviewed in a local pub. She has sold 30,000 copies of the Harry Potter books. To her, this is already a phenomenal success. The journalist asks her to sum up the plot, as if fishing for something that would encourage an adult to buy her novels, to which she retorts: “Hum... I think it is funny. I’ve been told by kids in their letters and so on, that they find it funny. It is also frightening. I wanted it to be both, judging by letters and judging by the reactions of people that I have met, I’d say I have succeeded in both.” She follows up with a smirk,and coyly puffs up, as if she still can’t believe, she actually has managed her mischief. Soon after, in 2011, the BBC reported that J.K Rowling had sold 450 million books. The saga has been translated into 67 languages. J’ADOOORE SIX INGREDIENTS THAT CREATE FANS INGREDIENT N°05 HUMOUR WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF J’ADOOORE 24 25
  15. 15. When the French best-selling author Bernard Werber was asked for his opinion on the reasons behind J.K. Rowling’s unprecedented success, he replied: 1997 - FRANCE 3 NATIONAL FRENCH TV HTTP://WWW.INA.FR/ VIDEO/3396491001009/ BERNARD-WERBER-A-PROPOSDE-SON-SUCCES-VIDEO.HTML “ I think she has found a simple language to talk about something that we already knew. There had been The Lord of the Rings, The NeverEnding Story. She managed to present it with a little bit of humour.” J’ADOOORE SIX INGREDIENTS THAT CREATE FANS INGREDIENT N°05 HUMOUR WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF J’ADOOORE 26 27
  16. 16. humour
  18. 18. And when you represent a brand, what kind of humour can you use? J’ADOOORE SIX INGREDIENTS THAT CREATE FANS INGREDIENT N°05 HUMOUR WHAT KIND OF HUMOUR FOR BRANDS 32 33
  19. 19. Incongruity, or the art of mixing seemingly unrelated things together Musée Grévin, French wax museum Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx x x xxx Xxxxxxx uses incongruity when they mix Queen Elizabeth and football player Zinédine Zidane to advertise their new exhibit. Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx x x xxx Xxxxxxx x x xxx Innocent Drinks’ product packaging Friends, TV Show Phoebe Buffay, a character in this show, is the queen of incongruity. The brand has long understood that customers who are in the process of waking up, tend to read and reread the packaging of their morning drinks. Instead of boring them with traditional messages, they rewrite their list of ingredients using plenty of incongruity. This harmless humour is particularly apt for brands that target people of all ages and nationalities. The Harry Potter series gets a lot of its humour from incongruity. A school with a name that read backwards stands for “Warts of Hog”, a world in which the postal services are run by owls and where the school gatekeeper wants a dragon for pet. During a lecture Yale Professor, Paul Bloom, tells a story in class: ‘‘So, the other day, I wake up, dress, go downstairs, greet the servants, kiss the kids [...]’’ Chuckles are heard coming from the audience as he mentions having servants. British brands such as Innocent Drinks are among those that set the example when it comes to using this type of humour. J’ADOOORE SIX INGREDIENTS THAT CREATE FANS INGREDIENT N°5 HUMOUR TYPES OF HUMOUR INCONGRUITY 34 35
  20. 20. And for the rest of the book, it will be available on February 5th, 2014 at J’ADOOORE SIX INGREDIENTS THAT CREATE FANS 36 37