Humor in Business

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20 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 7 μήνες)

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Humor in Business



by Don L. F. Nilsen

and Alleen Pace Nilsen

Creative Advertising

2

More Creative Advertising

3

Two Business Models:

4

Spaghetti Factory & Kleenex: Explain!

5

Business Symbolism

6

Bad Jobs!

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BUSINESSES ARE NOW LOOKING FOR

NEW APPROACHES

An Office at Google


Humor consultant John
Morreall

advises
businesses on how to
make employees “like”
to come to work.


It is fine to decorate an
office or pin up
cartoons, but really, it
i

much more complex
than that.



They find ways to make
their employees WANT
to come to work.



Offices should be fun to
look at and to work in.



But there’s more to it
than that.

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Businesses which encourage
humor also:


Take initiative and
risks.


Do not worry about
making mistakes.


Spend energy on
solutions.


Shoot for total
quality.


Focus on
opportunities.



Do not worry about
breaking things.


Try easier, not
harder.


Stay calm.


Take responsibility.


Experiment.


Smile.


Have fun.

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To Accomplish These Goals,

Companies:


Flatten the organization by reducing
levels of management.


Allow workers more discretion in
making decisions.


Foster creative thinking.


Accept employee attitudes, emotions,
and suggestions.


Encourage teamwork and
collaboration.

Administrators’ Views of Humor
-
in
-
Business :


A sense of humor makes businesses more creative,
less rigid, and more willing to consider and embrace
new ideas and methods.



In a different survey of 737 CEO’s, 98% said that
humor was important in the conduct of business.



They therefore gave preference to people with a
sense of humor.



Soft skills are better predictors of success in
management than are hard skills.

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More Support for Humor



The director of human resources at Sun Microsystems watches
for how long it takes an interviewee to laugh or to find
something funny



She says that humor is very important in their corporate
futures.



One business created a “Grouch Patrol.” Whenever they see
someone with a sour face, they respond by making a bat face.



This involves pushing the tip of their noses up, flicking their
tongues in and out, and making a high
-
pitched “Eeeee” sound.

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When Humor “Bubbles
-
Up” from Employees,
There Will of Course Be Lots of Variety.


Practical jokes we’ve recently heard:



Putting foam packing bubbles in the cubicles of colleagues who
are absent.



A boss going on a three
-
week trip, and coming back to find real
sod rolled out in his office just to prove that “grass does grow
under your feet.”



A door
-
decorating contest on the cruise ship taking 12 of their
outstanding employees to Mexico, in which winners had photos of
their faces superimposed on pictures of jungle animals.



Their slogan was “Where the Wild Things Are.”



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At our local BEADS GALORE store an
employee made this sign for the window.

“UNATTENDED CHILDREN
WILL BE GIVEN TO THE
GOBLIN KING”

APPARENTLY, SHE WAS
TIRED OF REARRANGING THE
DISPLAYS.

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Other Examples of Workplace Humor



A debt collector sent out a letter reading, “We appreciate
your business, but, please, give us a break. Your
account is overdue 10 months. That means we’ve carried
you longer than your mother did.”



A business manager, who made a really bad mistake,
wore a T
-
shirt with a large red bulls
-
eye on it when he
went to a meeting about the problem.



A large IBM sales team improved their record 30% when
they formed a pick
-
up orchestra and recorded their sales
in fun ways, e.g. by blowing a horn, smashing a gong.



More Examples


Esther Blumenfield and Lynne Alpern told about how four
women conspired to get even with a male co
-
worker.



At meetings, he would routinely drop his pencil on the floor so
that he could bend down under the table and look up their
skirts.



One day before a scheduled meeting, they used a magic marker
to print on their kneecaps:
H I

(space)
R A L P H
.



The CEO of a large Canadian bank appears in a monthly
corporate video shown to all employees to discuss recent
issues and plans.



A hand puppet appears and begins poking fun and asking him
embarrassing questions about recent problems.



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Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shops
are successful because of their
quirky humor.

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Cartoonist Scott Adams draws “Dilbert”
cartoons which explore these business
-
related themes:


Downsizing


Heavy work loads


Micromanagement


Humiliatingly small cubicles


Accelerating pace of change


Corporate gobbledygook


Management fads



Cruel bosses


Annoying colleagues


Red tape.

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Adams encourages readers to send in their true
stories. They are often published on the Business
pages of newspapers.


A management expert at
Apple Computer said,


“There are only two
kinds of companies,
those that recognize
that they’re just like
Dilbert
, and those that
don’t know it yet.”

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Once employees incorporate humor in their
daily lives, it seems natural to extend humor to
their customers and potential customers.


Volkswagen introduced the VW Rabbit into the U.S. with a
10
-
second commercial showing two rabbits looking into
the camera. One is saying, “In 1956 there were only two
VWs in America. . .”



At a California traffic school named
Lettuce Amuse U,
the
teachers are comedians. They use humor to relax
students.



One teacher explains that an extra reason for keeping
your baby safe in a backward
-
facing car seat is “If you
get rear
-
ended, you’ve got a witness.”

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Before a three
-
day
-
weekend, the State
Highway Department uses humor by putting
lighted warnings on major highways:

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The Arizona Republic
gives away umbrellas
covered with reprints of their comic strips.

Our foot doctor incorporates the anti
-
fungus
toenail gang to tell us to turn off our cell phones.

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Connections between Humor
and Advertising


They both require
brevity
.



They
open people’s minds
to enable
them to have a new viewpoint.



People get involved in processing the
message, and therefore
remember it
longer
.



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Match the Slogans with the Products


The beer that made
Milwaukee famous


B. O.


Say it with flowers


When it rains, it pours


Snap, crackle and pop


Nature’s spelled
backwards


Good to the Last Drop


Rice Krispies


Schlitz Beer


Seratan


American Florist
Assoc.


Maxwell Coffee


Morton Salt


Livebuoy Soap

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Creative spelling made these names memorable and
helped with trademark protection.

Some Early Examples


Kwik


ReaLemon


Reddi
-
Wip


Ry
-
Krisp


Krispies


Tastee
-
Freez


Toys “
Я
” Us


U
-
Haul

More Recent Examples


Aspercreme


Dunkin’ Donuts


Haggar Expand
-
o
-
matic


Kwik Kopy


Playskool


Sominex


Whataburger


Wolverine Durashocks


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The Staying Power of Brand Names

Nineteen of the twenty
-
two companies that owned the
leading American brands in 1925 still own them.


Campbells
in soup


Del Monte

in canned
fruit


Gillette

in razors


Ivory

in soap


Kellogg’s

in
breakfast cereals



Kodak

in film


Nabisco

in cookies


Sherwin Williams
in
paint


Singer
in sewing
machines


Wrigleys
in chewing
gum

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Why did
Band
-
Aid
,
Kleenex
,
Scotch Tape
,
Thermos
, and
Zipper

become common rather
than proper nouns?


Think of other
examples.

These are relatively
older products.

These are “benchmark”
products.


But today advertisers
work to “protect” their
names so that consumers
will look exclusively for
their products rather than
for the imitators.

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James Twitchell, used his own kind of humor
to criticize America’s market culture. He wrote:



“If Greece gave the world philosophy, Britain gave
drama, Austria gave music, Germany gave politics,
and Italy gave art, then America has recently
contributed mass
-
produced and mass
-
consumed
objects.”



He added that our materialism is a kind of
spiritualism, but instead of looking at the next life for
our rewards, we are looking for “The Nike swoosh,
the Polo pony, the Guess? label, and the DKNY
logo.”



Are we influenced by ads?



People say that they don’t pay much attention to ads.
They just tune them out, believing they have no effect.



In Nazi Germany, Joseph Goebbels said that the secret of
propaganda is that “those who are to be persuaded
should be completely immersed in the ideas of the
propaganda, without ever noticing that they are being
immersed in it.”



This is where humor comes in. If we are amused or
laughing at a commercial or a program, our defenses are
down and we are more likely to want to buy whatever is
being shown.

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Products are our friends
.


Alcoholics joke that Jack Daniels is their
constant lover, while smokers feel that
cigarettes are their friends. People are twice
seduced, first by the ads and then by the
substances.




Infiniti

is an automobile;
Hydra Zen
is a
moisturizer, and
Jesus

is a brand of jeans.”




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Even ten
-
year
-
olds are being turned into
COVER GIRLS.


Each girl at this
weekend celebration in
Louisville brought her
“American Girl” doll.



All the girls were
photographed and put
onto a “fake” cover of a
local magazine.



What parent could
resist buying it?

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Commercialization teaches people to be
shoppers.

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Women are
especially targeted.


Why do teenage
girls shoplift more
often than do
teenage boys?

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Which of the following
statements are gender marked?


A woman’s place is in the mall.


But I can’t be overdrawn! I still have some checks.


He who dies with the most toys wins.


I’m spending my grandchildren’s inheritance.


Nouveau riche is better than no riche at all.


People who say money can’t buy happiness, don’t
know where to shop.


Shop ‘til you drop.


When the going gets tough, the tough go
shopping.

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We will conclude with miscellaneous “Laws of
Business” developed over the years:


MURPHY’S LAW: “If anything can go wrong,
it will,” extended to “When left to
themselves, things always go from bad to
worse,” and “If anything can go wrong, it
will, and even if it can’t it might.”



O’TOOLE’S LAW: Murphy was an optimist.



DAMON RUNYAN’S LAW: In all human
affairs, the odds are always six to five
against.

MORE LAWS . . .



THE PETER PRINCIPLE: Each employee tends to
rise to their level of incompetence.



PETER’S COROLLARY PRINCIPLE: When people are
doing well they will be promoted, which means that
everyone not upwardly mobile is incompetent.



MARSHALL’S GENERALIZED ICEBERG THEOREM:
Seven
-
eights of
everything

cannot be seen.



PAUL HERBIG’S PRINCIPLE OF BUREAUCRATIC
TINKERTOYS: If it can be understood, it’s not yet
finished.

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THE FINAL RULES OF
BUSINESS


RULE NUMBER 1:


The boss is always right.



RULE NUMBER 2:


If the boss is wrong, see Rule


Number 1.

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Business Humor Web Sites

CREATIVE
HONDA AD:

https://www.youtube
-
nocookie.com/embed/Dxy4n0UT82o?rel=0



DILBERT STREAMING:

http://www.youtube.com/user/dilbert



THE HAPPINESS MACHINE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=lqT_dPApj9U



MOTIVATION: PROFIT VS. PURPOSE; LEVELING THE HIERARCHY (e.g.
Internet, Wikipedia, Skype, Facebook, Google, Southwest…):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc&feature=relmfu