Knock, Knock. Who’s There? Lettuce. Lettuce Who? Lettuce Begin!
We all know and love or love to hate the classic Knock, Knock joke. They are the king of all jokes and have lasted the test of comedic time. Let’s face it. They are just generally funny and bring something creative and clever to any table. Since more and more companies are segmenting their audiences and fine-tuning their content, humor is making a really big comeback in advertising and content marketing.
According to research done by Buzzmo, humor is very important and content should “invoke awe, laughter or amusement.” Knock Knock jokes do just that. They are short, sweet, funny, recognizable and they work. There is a knock knock joke for everyone and certainly every industry, but understanding the origin of this classic king will help us appreciate why this tried and true joke has held its punny throne for so long.
History of the Knock Knock Joke
Some historians believe knock knock jokes started back in the Middle Ages when guards called out to see who was approaching the castle before allowing them in. The guards would call out, “who’s there?” The visitor would reply and this banter continued on and on so long that this became commonplace around the drawbridge water cooler. William Shakespeare fans say Act 2, Scene 3 in his 1606 Macbeth play takes credit as a character delivers a long, funny speech that resembles the modern day knock-knock joke. It’s really not that funny, but it’s a classic.
Take two! Today, we don’t even think about who’s there but enjoy the punch line just the same. During the 1900’s flappers used to call them “Do You Know Jokes” that followed the same knock knock pattern. History records that telling knock-knock jokes was a craze in the mid-1930s. Strangers told them to strangers on the streets, businesses held knock-knock contests and orchestras included them into their song lists. Talk about knocking it out of the historical park!
Whether the knock knock was started in the Middle Ages, by the talented William Shakespeare or even a fancy flapper, they are now the answer to short and sweet ice breaking content. They can be fined tuned to industry, category target market and other demographics. They are age appropriate, usually, anyway, funny, memorable and somewhat corny at times. And that’s good, corny is memorable.
Knock, Knock. Who’s There? Boo, Boo Hoo? Gosh, I know these jokes are corny but you don’t have to cry about it.
Why Humor Works In Content Marketing
People love to laugh and be entertained. Adding humor to content marketing creates a memorable personal touch that is necessary to stand out in today’s very big and crowded crowd. Take Aflac for example. Who would’ve ever thought that a silly looking duck screaming out “Aflac” and doing funny out of the ordinary things would take center stage in selling insurance? Aflac took a risk with comedy and it paid off. It would be extra funny if the little guy would tell a knock-knock joke once in awhile!
Another critter that should have a star on Hollywood’s Advertising Walk of Fame is the Geico, gecko. Who knew a reptile with an English accent and a dry sense of humor (and style) would win the hearts of America and help Geico sell their products. Content marketers did, that’s who and so should you. These are just two examples of how a creative thinker or two with a good sense of humor incorporated something funny it to an otherwise terribly boring topic…insurance!
Here’s another humorous ad that took an unknown company and put them on the map almost overnight. Dollar Shave Club.com created a low budget YouTube video that featured the company’s founder, Mike to hysterically explain why buying razor blades from them is better than the old fashioned, drive to the retail store and buy them, way. They knew their audience would relate to their “easier and less expensive” service oriented idea. Just like insurance, they took a rather boring topic and “sharpened it” with humor. Their idea paid off big, too. That low budget video has been viewed 25,563,798 and Dollar Shave Club.com is now a well-shaved household name.
Just like Dollar Shave Club.com, as smart content creators, we need to add some good old LOL into our advertising. Getting the word out about our amazing products and services is no laughing matter so we have to be creative, forward-thinking and have fun. Thanks to digital marketing there more real-time opportunities to get in front of prospective customers. Social media platforms, websites, YouTube channels, text messaging…the list goes on and on.
Companies are constantly using humor to capture customers’ attention and wallets all the time. Those funny memes and videos of funny things are helping businesses be more personal, human and relatable. Most of the time the subject matter as nothing at all to do with their products or services, (ie: Geckos and ducks have nothing to do with insurance) but as long as it grabs the customer’s attention, humor gets the job done. The lesson to this story is if you use humor effectively, it can have you laughing all the way to the bank.
Knock, Knock. Who’s there? Police. Police who? Police stop telling these awfully effective knock, knock jokes! LOL.
Susan W keeps her target audience in mind and writes a creative, clear, thoughtful piece. She has written hundreds of news articles, newsletters, informative letters, blog posts, emails, social media posts, magazine articles, news releases, executive speeches, promotional articles, catalog copy, web site copy, headlines and radio scripts. She researches and writes SEO friendly articles, using the best writing style for the article and audience. She has a “flair” for word combinations that promote and entertain. Whether the article is “short and sweet” or “long and lengthy” Susan’s style keeps the reader engaged and interested.