On June 6th, Taco Bell announced the return of their Nacho Fries by releasing another parody movie trailer. “Chasing Gold” stars Darren Criss and even features an epic song called “Love of My Life”. It is simultaneously a send up of rags-to-riches music movies (cough, A Star is Born, cough) and an homage.
Taco Bell has successfully used these “blockbuster movie” parodies to market their limited-time Nacho Fries in the past. There was “A Web of Fries” starring Josh Duhamel and “Nacho Fries: Retrieval” starring James Marsden. Both are funny and well-produced.
Parodies can be a powerful marketing tool. When done properly they can capture public attention (aka go viral) and generate a lot of attention for your brand/message. However, they are very difficult to pull off. If you play it too safe, the parody falls flat. If you exaggerate too much, the parody can turn into a mean-spirited slap-in-the-face or offend the audience.
I tip my hat to people and organizations that have mastered the art of parody. I am completely in awe of those who can use it to promote their brands. Below are some of my recent favorites:
- ZDoggMD – His “Treat Yourself” is one of the best
- Master J – “Reputation Management” is educational and fun
- Adobe – In the Time it Takes to Get There (starring Alicia Silversone)
This month on HITMC I thought it would be interesting to discuss parody and humor in healthcare marketing. How can it be best used? Does it automatically come with an expiry date? How much is too much? And what should you do when a campaign goes too far?
Join me on Tuesday June 18th at noon ET (for your local time click here) when we will discuss the following questions:
- T1 Share examples of humorous healthcare marketing. What made them stand out?
- T2 Does humor and parody have a place in the healthcare marketing mix? If so, when and how is it best used?
- T3 Good parody is based on current memes & popular culture. Does this mean parody-based marketing has an expiry date? Are there ways to keep it fresh?
- T4 How much is too much? At what point does humor/parody go too far?
- T5 What suggestions do you have for responding to criticism and backlash when a humor or parody-based campaign fails?
- Bonus What is your favorite comedy movie?