Some industries seem to find it easier than others to give brands a personality, and content a sense of humour. So we’re taking a tour, sector by sector, until we’ve gathered the evidence to prove – definitively – that in each and every industry, there’s a way to make “funny” work in your social media marketing mix.
(Also, we spend so much of our time picking apart bad examples of comedy in advertising – it’s nice to flip the script every now and then, and congratulate those whose social media strategies are working).
This week, our spotlight is on the automotive industry.
This is social media marketing for cars.
1 – Dacia – sponsoring comedy on Dave
If you’re going to sponsor comedy, on a channel that’s all about comedy, and online on their very funny Facebook page, it’s fair to say you’ll need to bring a sense of humour with you. This series of relatable Ads from Dacia turn the car into a character – and have him (or her) react to funny road signs in the same way you or I might.
Entering “Brokenwind”? Better wind up the window then!
Bit of a dad joke – but the anthropomorphised car in place of the middle aged man adds enough of a layer to make these jokes tolerable.
Car buyers will love it.
2 – Ford – Feat Jimmy Kimmel
If you want to find a funny way to sell cars, it helps to make sure it’s seen by people with a sense of humour. And who better – than the audience of a show like Jimmy Kimmel Live. Their social media channels alone have a huge built-in following
The sketch follows resident funny man Guillermo as he tries to sneak a look at the new Mustang Mach-E, behind the scenes in a car dealership. Some of the jokes are a little ‘low hanging’ – would’ve been great to see some slightly more sophisticated gags in there – but it seemed to hit home with Jimmy’s audience (6.8m views, and 2.2k likes), and has attracted a fair bit of positive press, too.
.@IamGuillermo’s top-secret mission to see the @Ford #MustangMachE… #ad pic.twitter.com/zFdNWXH2UG
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) November 19, 2019
3 – BMW’s Halloween Horror Story
It would’ve been easy for BMW to make a spooky Halloween Ad that didn’t get a laugh – but these are digital marketers who’ve realised the power of comedy. This starts out like so many ghost stories – with a drive through the forest. A figure appears, and stalks its prey – we fear for the fate of the driver of the car.
But as the ghost gets closer, the tables are turned – the spectre is the one who gets the fright of her life, as she realises there’s no one driving the car!
A clever twist that brilliantly showcases BMW’s new automated self-driving cars. A great example of automotive social media marketing done right.
4- Mercedes Benz – #AlwaysRacing
The best jokes take two “things” that shouldn’t fit together – and make them fit together – with a perfectly placed twist that, right at the end, all of a sudden makes perfect sense.
When this Ad opens on an old people’s home in the midsts of a tea dance – you might be left wondering what on earth this has to do with cars, and why you’re watching it on Mercedes Benz’s social channels. It all makes sense, however, when the pit crew race in – and put out the fire in the fireplace.
They’re highly trained, always working, and #AlwaysRacing
5 – Jumping onboard Memes – the good, and the very very bad.
Ok – we promised we’d be celebratory for once. And 50% of this section is.
When a new viral meme takes off, brands are often super keen to get involved. Partly to prove they’re down with the kids, and partly because they’re excited they might finally have something else to say on their ever increasing number of social platforms , other than “buy our products, please…”.
Sometimes it goes well. Like it did here for BMW – who successfully aped the “The Poet, The Poem” meme, gave it a clever twist, and made it their own.
Less points, however, go to Nissan – who’s attempt at getting onboard the Dolly Parton Challenge was offensively underwhelming.
On January 21st, country music legend Dolly Parton posted a collage of her four personas – one for each of the four main social media platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Tinder.
Smartly dressed for LinkedIn, casual and fun for FaceBook, an artsy picture for Instagram, and a sexy pose for Tinder. The post itself read “Get you a woman that can do it all.”
It went viral almost instantly – as everyone from Mark Ruffalo and Janet Jackson, to Jennifer Garner, Miley Cyrus, Kerry Washington and even The Jonas Brothers did their own versions.
It soon became known as the #DollyPartonChallenge – and like moths to a flame, the world jumped on the band wagon. Celebrities, military units, community groups, dog rescue centres – and of course, brands.
Some of these brands absolutely bossed it. Others – like Nissan – well, let’s just say they missed the brief.
If your marketing strategy says “get involved”, change it to “get involved – and do it right”.
But don’t worry – we’ve fixed it for them 🙂 Nissan – if you want it – you can have this one for free.
So there we have it. Proof, if ever you need any, that car brands can – occasionally – use a sense of humour, and a dash of personality, on social media. Sometimes they even manage crack the code, and send their content viral.
Got a brilliant example of funny social media marketing for cars that you think we’ve missed? Get in touch – we’d love to add it to the list.
The only question is – which industry should we focus on next? Tweet us (@WhiteLabelCom), and let us know.