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The Value of Unexpected Humor

By Scott Greggory

Torn Paper Bottom Edge

Have you heard of Gerald Daugherty?

If not, you may be the only one who’s out of the loop.

Daugherty is the Travis County, Texas Commissioner whose online video is the talk of the political world these days.

The 60-second piece shows Gerald’s boundless passion for solving his community’s problems, and how his non-stop thought process has left his wife and friends exhausted.

It’s the funniest campaign ad I’ve ever seen. It’s been viewed more than 3.5 million times on YouTube alone. And it’s been featured on national TV and radio shows.

The earned media that the video has generated is staggering. Google “Gerald Daugherty” and you’ll quickly see how appealing it is.

Why all the hubbub?

Because during a typical political season, the candidates’ commercials are virtually indistinguishable from one another. The advertising doesn’t communicate how candidates will apply their skills or why they’re uniquely qualified for the office. And their messages certainly don’t use humor.

But Gerald and his team zigged when everyone else zagged.

The humor and honesty in his video keep viewers watching – and sharing and liking and talking about Gerald.

As a result of the campaign’s fresh approach, voters know Gerald’s name. They know he can laugh at himself, while still taking his duties very seriously. And they’ve been given specific insight into why he’s the best man for the job.

The video incorporates two concepts that we’ve promoted for nearly three decades:

1) Using humor in an unexpected environment to surprise and delight your audience, lower their defenses, and create a memorable caller experience.

2) Telling the truth: focusing on the unique value you bring to your callers without hyperbole or exaggeration.

To get a sense of our creative On Hold Marketing and how we approach the caller experience differently, take a look at our On Hold Marketing of the Month page and our Humor On Hold page.