Insights
1 min Read
March 4, 2016

John Oliver’s lessons in communications

John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” segment mocking presidential candidate Donald Trump arrived just in time for Super Tuesday. Unless you’ve been living under a rock these last few days, you’ve probably seen #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain taking over the internet.

While there is certainly a political lesson to be learned from the clip, it’s also a perfect crash course in smart communications. There’s a reason this clip went viral and a reason that “Donald Drumpf” is a more popular search term than either Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz right now—it’s really funny.  

John Oliver created a slew of marketing materials—a website, a hashtag, even hats and t-shirts—all building on that one, ingenious joke, and it’s effective.  

We see organizations shy away from using humor in their communications in an effort to stay professional—and to be sure, there are contexts in which humor is probably not the best way to go—but it can also be a creative way to show your personality, set you apart from your peers, and make that lasting impression.

At the end of the day, your audience is composed of individual people, and by and large, we like to laugh. So make us laugh! John Oliver did, and it was a game changer.

Has your organization ever used humor in communications? How’d it go? Tell us in the comments!

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