#88 The Funny One

Hello, friends.

What I’m Learning/Doing

Tonight is the “big game” that cannot be named.

For marketers like myself, it’s one of the most talked about nights of the year. Maybe it started in the 70s with Namath and Fawcett, or it could have been the iconic “1984” ad in the 80’s, but for the last four decades, Super Bowl commercials have become the premier showcase of commercial art.

We can debate the effectiveness of these $5MM spots another time (many throw strategy out the window in exchange for ego stroking), but one thing you will see is the use of humor as a theme for most of the commercials.

So, I thought I’d share three (of many) things I learned about “being funny” when I used to write ads for a living.

Truth and pain Next time you think something is funny, ask yourself what truth and pain does it express. Let’s try a few:

Perspective Comic characters need to have a unique view of the world. This perspective allows you to put them in funny situations.

Clash of Context Forcing two opposites or incompatibles together creates a comedic conflict. This tool is one of the easiest to use. It can take multiple forms.

Hope these will make watching the commercials more fun for you as well as give you a few tips for your next campaign.



  • Hired a managing director to run the day-to-day and own delivery
  • Expanding our creative capabilities for design, video and audio
  • Improving onboarding for clients and collaborators


  • Hired our first tech lead (starts in two weeks)
  • Started 12 new opportunities in January (the best month so far)
  • Focusing Q1 marketing on market awareness and two industry-focused campaigns


  • Finished up 1099 processing for customers and learned a ton
  • Meeting with financial institutions about the use of CrewPay for their customers/members
  • Continued marketing experimentation


  • Defining business model for Pttrns Studio
  • Working on growing the audience (from 18k)

Until next time.


P.S. I’m very interested in following the progress of this new mobile-first entertainment platform: https://quibi.com/

P.P.S. The primary calendar app I’ve used just pushed a major update and business model change: https://flexibits.com/fantastical

P.P.P.S. Here’s an informative look at the current state of SaaS onboarding: https://userpilot.com/saas-product-onboarding/

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