When it comes to PR, it’s important to keep things fresh and creative. With so much activity occurring in the industry, having a unique perspective when formulating tactics for your campaign will ensure your efforts will stand out from the crowd.

One of the greatest tools when formulating a campaign is the use of playfulness. The power of humour in PR is often underestimated. Think back to your most beloved memories – how many of them revolve around a funny moment? At the root of PR is the need for brands to build strong relationships that connect emotionally with their audiences, of which humour plays a large part. Whilst professionalism still rules, incorporating humour into your campaign can make it even more persuasive.

Here at Agent 99, we’re not ones to shy away from bold and creative campaigns. In fact, a few of our award-winning campaigns were born from this approach. Here are some of our top tips for injecting a bit of fun into your campaign:

  1. Be Cheeky

Laughter is contagious, and brings people together. Everybody appreciates a good joke, sometimes even at the expense of others! At Agent99, one of our most successful campaigns was built around Australia’s most loved ‘joke’ topics – gingers. Gingers have long been the butt of many jokes, and starting in 2014, Agent99 sought to reposition our client Buderim Ginger’s image to one that was more Millennial friendly. Campaign tactics included a search for ‘Australia’s Hottest Ginger’, and the first Australian Ginger Pride Rally. Being known to many people, the stereotype of the ginger was a highly visible and therefore effective way to garner publicity for Buderim Ginger, and connect with its target audience in a meaningful way. The results speak for themselves. In 2016, an overall reach of over 25 million was achieved, with over 1,000 people attending the Ginger Pride Rally, and over 210 pieces of earned media coverage across traditional, online and influencer channels being secured. Oh, and it also won the PRIA award for Consumer PR Campaign of the Year (NSW), and was commended nationally. So we’re a pretty proud of that one.

  1. Be Nostalgic

Adult life can sometimes be hard and repetitive. How many times a day do you think back to when you were a kid and had zero responsibilities? In the digital age, many people crave a slice of nostalgia in their life – therefore, anything labelled ‘retro’ suddenly goes viral. We all love to be reminded of simpler times, when everything seemed more effortless. Therefore, making that connection between your business and nostalgia is one of the most powerful mechanisms that you can harness in PR.

Fast food chain McDonalds did that in 2010, when it launched its ‘Inner Child’ campaign. The star of this campaign was an adult sized version of their iconic Playland, which was constructed in Sydney’s Circular Quay. Although McDonalds is arguably well known and loved, the campaign was disruptive, and ultimately communicated McDonalds’ key message that it’s the place to go for a slice of childhood and to ‘forget about the deadlines, budgets and stresses of life’.

  1. Make Fun of Yourself

Self-deprecating humour is one of cornerstones of surviving adult life. Made a mistake? Just make fun of yourself and all is forgiven. You can also take advantage of this in your professional life – people are surprisingly forgiving and receptive when persuaded effectively.

Recently, fast food chain KFC had a country-wide shortage of chicken in the UK. Before the situation had the chance to get worse, KFC issued a statement which humorously explained the situation. Full page apologies were published in two national UK newspapers, which included an image of the famous bucket with the letters ‘FCK’, along with expressions of apology and gratitude to both their staff and customers. Humour is humanising – by making fun of themselves, KFC (in the public’s eye) was seen as less robotic and corporate, and more natural.

Agent Intern Vanessa