Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che once said that the goal of comedy is to get the entire crowd to feel as though they’re having an idea at once. Whether the idea is “I should hire that company!” or “I had a great time at this special event,” this powerful uniting factor may be something you want to include in your video.
The most memorable moments that make us all laugh have that power to unite, but the path toward this simultaneous realization is a dangerous one. Comedic missteps can spread like wildfire, and reputations can disintegrate as a result, but when done carefully, incorporating comedy into your video can be a worthwhile endeavor. Of course, we’re here to help you turn these thoughts into a living, breathing film—but, in the meantime, here are some tips for those wanting to sprinkle a bit of silliness into their story:
First, think about what makes you laugh.
Any idea that doesn’t make you laugh, you’ll have a hard time selling others on as a funny concept. Don’t just go for the cheap laugh, or copy a strategy that you have no connection to. The best laughter is genuine, so start with what makes you crack up, and run with it!
Make sure you know your audience.
Once you have an idea in place, consider the audience your film will be reaching—think about age, background, values, and more factors that may affect what they laugh at. Underestimating the importance of this step can be what gets brands in trouble for offensive or derivative content.
Run the content by others.
Make no mistake: Infusing comedy into your work is a risky maneuver. It may call for some second (or third, or fourth) opinions. Be sure to create a panel that accurately represents your customers or target audience, and not just people who find the same things funny as you. These individuals can provide insight about how a joke could confuse, offend, or alienate.
Keep it simple.
The best and most memorable jokes are relatively simple in their composition. Anything that requires too much explanation or asks the audience if they “get it” likely won’t land as you hope. Think about the small things in life that you find funny, and note their simplicity. Make it easy on yourself and your audience by sticking to simple laughs.
Yes, there is a lot to think about when you decide to make your videos funny, but don’t let the work of it steal away the fun! If you start with what you find funny, seek to align your laughs with those of the target audience, stay attentive to possible worries, and keep it simple. You may be able to take the driest content and make it smile for the audience.