As my two friends stared back at me through the screen, I could see they were both barely managing to hold it together.
As actors who pay the bills in between gigs with freelance events work – the bottom had fallen out of their world overnight.
While the rest of the UK was celebrating an unprecedented (and frankly surprising) level of financial support from the government – the self employed were (and still are) feeling completely left behind.
But the tears I could see behind those exhausted eyes – they weren’t selfish tears. It wasn’t their own money troubles keeping them up at night.
These two had dedicated their lives to creating culture for us all – and they barely scrape by at the best of times.
Now they faced the very real possibility that the fragility of underfunded arts organisations meant much of the industry they’d devoted themselves to wouldn’t even be here in a year’s time.
Between you and I – I had exactly the same fears for White Label.
Lots of our clients are small businesses who have no idea how the next few months are going to play out. Even the bigger brands with deep pockets are being cautious.
We’ve only just begun to build a market for what we do – but should brands even think about cracking jokes at a time like this?
Perhaps we were on the way out, too.
We all sat there in stoney silence – no one had anything left to say, but we didn’t want to end the call – because after we hung up, we’d be on our own again.
One of my friends – only half paying attention to us and our awkward silence – had begun to scroll through twitter. And I saw a huge grin spread slowly across her face.
She shared the tweet with us.
It was from a guru of some kind, sharing their own Pandemic Productivity Plan. Except it wasn’t. It was a joke.
Pandemic productivity plan:
8.50am – arrive at the office
9.20am – the office ends, next episode starts automatically
It wasn’t even that funny – but we all still laughed. In fact we laughed for longer than you’d think would be appropriate.
It was funny because it was true. It was relatable. And it showed us this guru (I’m not naming names – but let’s just say it’s not someone i’m normally a fan of) was one of us. Going through exactly the same thing.
Most importantly though – it was exactly what we needed. It kickstarted our own fun, funny conversation that brought us all out of the funk we were in.
The mood that day changed – and it was all thanks to one funny tweet.
Right now, we need humour more than ever – and those who bring it to us will be rewarded with our love, our admiration, and maybe even our cold hard cash.
In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever for brands to relate to what’s really going on in our lives – and humour’s one of the best ways to do that.
Businesses are right to avoid making jokes about the pandemic itself – it’s no laughing matter – but there’s so much relatable humour to be found inside this weird new world we’re all now living in, and brands who are able to make us smile, in spite of all the chaos, will be invited into our homes and into our lives
So i’m not worried about White Label’s future any more – because frankly, the world needs us now more than ever.
And they need you, too.
A while back, we wrote an E-Book – it’s called 5 Foolproof Ways To Make Your Brand Funny.
In it, we break down five techniques we see being used time and time again to turn a brand’s message into comedy content – without risk of backfiring.
The book also comes bundled with a free email mini-course: How To Write Jokes That Sell (in 280 characters or less).
In that, over the course of 5 easy to digest lessons, we break down the techniques late night talk show writers use to turn the news into gags, and show you how easy it is for you to do the same in order to craft tweets that make us laugh, and paint your brand as the hero.
I want you to see what life is like when you use humour to relate to the very real struggles your audience are going through.
I want you to see what life is like in a world where your social media marketing entertains, engages and sells.
So right now, if either the book or the course might be of use to you – we’re giving them both away for free.