How brands are embracing absurdity
There is no shortage of brands connecting with their customers through absurdity, but each brand must approach humorous content strategically to ensure it is appropriate for their audience and for the platform on which they share it
One great example of how platform and audience impact content is language-learning app Duolingo’s approach to TikTok. TikTok is a booming platform, especially among younger audiences, and trending content can turn everyday individuals and low-awareness brands into sensations within hours. Content on TikTok is typically much bolder and less polished than what you see on Facebook and Instagram, and the humor is often much darker and more shock-inducing than is expected (or accepted) on other platforms. Duolingo has absolutely cracked the code on how to maximize these aspects of TikTok with the content they promote to their younger audience through their lime green owl mascot’s viral videos. Putting their own twist on popular trends, making witty comments on content from other brand accounts and users, and leaning into big pop culture moments like Taylor Swift’s re-release of the album Red has allowed Duolingo to become one of the most successful social media presences among brands today. They’re winning not because they have the funniest social media manager, but rather because they understand the importance of matching their strategy to their context.
The GS&F social team is very well versed in building these kinds of sharp strategies that effectively leverage relevant humor-filled content for our clients. The work GS&F has done with Southern fast-food brand Jack’s and convenience store pizza brand Hunt Brothers Pizza are prime examples of how we bring humor and absurdity into our social strategies. By taking familiar meme formats and giving them the surprisingly Southern Jack’s twist our audience loves, our Jack’s content captures attention and wins engagement while also building positive perception of the brand. Hunt Brothers Pizza plays with funny quips and approachable memes that echo their audience’s casual sense of humor to drive engagement and brand connection. Tailoring what kinds of humor will resonate best across platforms and audiences is key to GS&F’s content strategy, so the humor we share on Facebook often differs from the memes we post on Instagram. It’s all about being able to read the room.