3 golden rules of funny B2B video content

This parody of a video for Millennials is terrifyingly close to the bone – but can you harness humour in your video content?

Take a quick scroll through your preferred social media platform of choice and the likelihood is that’ll you see vastly more video content than you would’ve done even a year ago, and it’s not slowing down. Predictions by Cisco suggest that by 2019 over 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video.

Now every man and his dog (and his marketing department) is joining the conversation – and they’re not wrong to try. According to Impact, 60% of Millennials prefer to watch a company video than read a newsletter, and 80% find video helpful during initial purchase research.

The competition is hotter than ever. So how can you get your content to stick out from the crowd? A recent survey by Hootsuite suggests viewers are 62% more likely to share a video if it’s funny. Which, in a world of talking heads and product demonstrations, is no mean feat.

Stock footage and photography provider Dissolve recently released the latest in their This is a Generic… video series. It’s a timely – and hilarious – reminder that B2B video content can be amusing as well as informative.

Here are the three golden rules for funny B2B video content:

Funny, and especially funny to the right audience

This is a Generic Millennial Ad is funny and accessible to all, but the marketers who will actually use their products are liable to find it even more amusing than most.

“Co-opting political protest to sell beverages? Cashing in on Pride week? Making token gestures to environmentalism? It’s all here,” says Dissolve, who created the This is a Generic series alongside And/Or studio and writer Kendra Eash.

The videos show that Dissolve knows the market as well as their product, and they don’t take themselves too seriously. The message is: “We have what you need, we know what we’re doing and we’ll be fun to work with.” Check, check and check.

Rule #1: Aim your humour in the right direction and to the right audience.


Anyone who has seen a disastrous best man’s speech or a lame stand-up comedian will know there’s nothing more excruciating than someone trying to be funny and failing.

Funny videos are much, much harder to make than straight videos, and confidence is key. With comedy, you’re either all in or you’re all out. There’s no in between.

Alongside a brilliant idea and a strong script, the stock footage Dissolve has used – and at the end of the day, it’s stock footage that they’re advertising – is really high quality. The video does a great job of showing off their product while being memorable. Pretty impeccable content marketing, then.

Rule #2: Be strict on quality control. Even a really funny concept is liable to fall flat on its face if it’s poorly produced.

A winning formula

Dissolve’s latest video installment follows on from the success of This is a Generic Brand Video, which won the 2015 Shorty Award for Best in B2B, and This is a Presidential Campaign Ad, which won the 2017 Shorty Award for Audience Honor in B2B.

If you find a formula that works for an audience, they’ll be happy to see more. Other great examples to look out for are the Zendesk Relationships Are Complicated series, the simple yet effective FreshBooks Customer Testimonial series, and the adorable B2C effort from Purina Dog Chow and Buzzfeed, Puppyhood.

Rule #3: Don’t be afraid of sequels – but only if they each work as standalone ideas.

Editor's pick

Most popular