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Articles: The Funny Thing About Humor

It’s been said that the most difficult movie to make is a comedy. I believe that, just as I also believe that the most difficult marketing or advertising concept to produce is one that contains humor. Being something of a stubborn and contrary cuss, usually when I hear that something is harder than everything else, I’ll gravitate toward the more difficult concept, figuring that any Joe Blow and his brother can do the easy ones.

The thing about humor is that it’s almost impossible to find a humorous concept that appeals to 100% of any given group of people, especially if you really want to make something seem really funny to a large percentage of the group. And let’s face it, humor that appeals to everyone is often overused or not very funny to a majority of the group, not to mention hard to come by. So, by it’s very nature, a humorous approach will always either go over the head of, or be offensive to, some percentage of people (with of course a percentage of people finding it neither humorous or offensive). In fact, I think you could probably diagram an algorithm that indicated that the funnier some percentage of people feel something is, the greater the number of people who will be offended. That’s probably why so many comics use creative profanity, although that’s become so commonplace that there will eventually have to be a shift away from that as the shock value peters out.

The problem with it all is that if you then are so afraid of offending any percentage of people, you are left with an unhumorous or bland approach as the best option. Indeed, if a company is so afraid of that percentage that it refuses to engage in anything humorous, then the result is a humorless approach, or worse, a humorless company.

There are many ways to describe an individual, but for many, using the word “humorless” is a great way to portray someone in a very negative light. Not a lot of people care to spend time with a humorless individual if they can help it. The same holds true for companies, so we work pretty hard to make sure we don’t become humorless, and we accept the fact that not all of it will click with everyone.

There is also a method to our madness, in terms of depicting ourselves either with humor or irreverence, and that’s to emphasize that we’re human beings, and that we provide a very personal touch with every customer and on every order. While we have extensive automated systems, nothing goes through without human interaction, and we pay our people to talk with you, give opinions and advice, and to connect one-on-one; not just take an order.

All that being said, we’ve received a couple of emails taking offense to the New Hannustmasgiving holiday we, or actually, our mascot Max the Sasquatch, invented. First off, let me emphasize that we’re not making fun of some of our most sacred and cherished holidays, nor certainly what they represent. In actuality, not only are we just having a little fun, but we are also poking a little fun at what has become a two-month free-for-all for your Christmas dollars. While, like virtually any merchant nowadays, a lot of our financial success comes as a result of that buying frenzy, I personally feel as if it’s all gotten a little out of hand, and that we’d be a lot better off taking time to remember what each of those holidays is all about.

So there.
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