What’s Good? A little bit of self-deprecation never hurt anyone…

It’s no secret that brands who engage with their customers are more likely to be successful at retaining them. And as brand trust and authenticity become the primary marketing pillars to attract younger consumers, marketers are continually trying new methods that will create more profound, more meaningful connections. We know it’s easier said than done. Because we’re not talking about simply shoving sales pitches down the throats of your prospective students and hoping they bite: They won’t. Instead, it’s about creating interactive and memorable campaigns that allow them to interact with their peers and learn something of value. Let’s take a closer look at what we mean. 

Here’s one particular global ad campaign that inspired us and we know will inspire you too. Not very often, in this dog-eat-dog world, do many brands lay bare their flaws and poke fun at past failures. It’s brave and it’s risky, we get that. But when it’s done right, it allows consumers to see a different side to the brand; self-deprecating, down-to-earth, some would even go as far as to say, human... And that’s what students nowadays look for: A more personable and relatable approach. Don’t believe us? Bud Light created a sense of community by taking a leap and making fun of themselves. 

Can y'all pass me an a-lum-i-num can of Bud Light?

Budweiser rolled out its biggest ever brand campaign in the UK for its flagship light beer, Bud Light. To stand out in the highly saturated beer market, they decided to use a marketing approach that highlighted their brand personality and helped build trust through humor. Rather than denying their American roots, they made a joke of them by asking participants to try their hand at an American accent; and those who nailed it were given a free beer. This type of lighthearted advertising, when done well, can help you shape meaningful audience-brand connections, especially with the student audience that values a more interactive conversational approach. 
 

We saw the likes of Amazon at the Superbowl taking the same self-deprecating turn in order to push through an authentic voice in the wake of becoming a faceless corporate giant. And even Carlsberg earlier this year with their “We’re probably not the best beer in the world” when facing a potential PR nightmare. There’s a very fine line when getting the Pratfall effect working for your brand. But when it’s done with authenticity, class and style, boy, does it hit the mark. 

Being able to laugh at ourselves is a tricky trait to nurture. Still, it can help people connect with us more - and it’s the same for brands and students - by turning consumer assumptions on their heads and tackling them in a unique and humorous way.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to connect with prospective students through interactive and authentic ads, get in touch with our experts.

Article by

Kevin Hsu Author Image

Kevin Hsu

Marketing Executive