Foolish Content Isn’t Limited to One Day a Year

Yes, it’s as soon as once more time for fools to rush in. April Fools’ Day is the time when some manufacturers be at liberty to break from their mildew to execute a content material “joke.” (Few do it properly.)

Unfortunately, silly content material is aware of no time of yr. So as an alternative of focusing April Fool’s content material, I made a decision to have a look at model content material from the remainder of the yr to see who’s foolin’ round (and who isn’t).

I discovered examples in three classes – entertaining, celebratory, and culturally informative content material. Let’s discover them.

Entertaining movies from a service supplier

The rising reputation of video content material prompts corporations to get their inventive juices flowing. While instructional and informational content material could also be most related to their companies, many attempt to entice consideration by making their movies entertaining, too.

Brand 1: Radiant Plumbing and Air Conditioning

This Austin, Texas-based firm began creating window shows with plumbing-related performs on film titles (Harry Potter and the Deathly Bowels) and tv exhibits (Game of Thrones) about 4 years in the past.

“I just would change the toilet display every few weeks, and movies were just a fun thing to play off,” co-founder Brad Casebier recently told a local television station.

Then, they took that creativity to video, producing spoofs on The Terminator (The Toiletnator) and Napoleon Dynamite. All the actors are Radiant workers, and a small staff produces, movies, and edits the movies. Its YouTube channel now hosts 282 movies and has 2,600 subscribers.


Is it silly content material? No. It’s good and inventive to stand out amongst a sea of sameness and stay prime of thoughts when folks want a plumber within the Austin space.

It’s additionally attracted nationwide consideration as John Oliver mentioned the corporate’s content material for six minutes on Last Week With John Oliver and challenged Radiant to make an advert utilizing a film inspiration he selected. The speak present host promised a $10,000 donation to Central Texas Food Bank and Radiant took the problem. (Read more of the story here.)

However, one factor is a little silly. Its YouTube about page doesn’t include a telephone quantity for folks in central Texas who want a plumber straight away.

Brand 2: Roto-Rooter

Roto-Rooter, a model with a nationwide viewers and title recognition, hosts many movies about all issues plumbing associated. Like different service corporations, it creates many how-to and informational movies. So I obtained excited to discover its “entertainment” category. But my enthusiasm waned once I watched a few of the movies in that part.

For instance, in a sequence about Thanksgiving-related clogs, Roto-Rooter used Pilgrim figurines to act out a Titanic-inspired scene in a kitchen sink that wouldn’t drain.

On the identical “entertainment” web page, a video exhibits a family Thanksgiving experience, together with scenes of members of the family arriving, greens being chopped, and bogs flushing. They’re adopted by a voiceover on simple ideas to thwart clogs over the vacations.
Is it silly content material? Yes, for a number of causes. First, the “Titanic” video feels disconnected from the remainder of the content material. It looks like somebody on the staff wished to do one thing uncommon and filmed the scene of their kitchen sink.

The video description doesn’t even match the visuals. It’s staid and boring and will have been written for any of the Thanksgiving movies:

This vacation season, Roto-Rooter asks all these grateful for his or her kitchen sinks and rubbish disposals to keep away from the turkey-day drama by maintaining drains away from skins, oils, and peelings from their Thanksgiving feast. The day after Thanksgiving is Roto-Rooter’s busiest day of the yr, unclogging 1000’s of drains and rubbish disposals of dinner prep and clean-up from the festive night time earlier than. Be grateful for Thanksgiving leftovers – even those you want to throw away – by maintaining them out of sink drains.

Even extra questionable was Roto-Rooter’s resolution to embrace a cartoonish Native American figurine with the long-out-of-place large smile and full headdress in a video about a nationwide vacation that many Native Americans view as a day of mourning.

@RotoRooter’s Thanksgiving videos are #FoolishContent because they’re boring and the descriptors don’t match the visuals, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

I gained’t belief Roto-Rooter to present entertaining content material sooner or later (and it probably will fall off my radar of potential plumbers.)


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Celebratory content material for International Women’s Day

Brands typically marry their content material advertising and marketing with days and months designated to rejoice folks and issues. International Women’s Day on March 8 is a kind of days. It’s designed as a “global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women” and a name to motion to combat for equality and parity.

Brand 1: CVS

Around International Women’s Day (March 8), retail pharmacy model CVS modified its web site. As the picture beneath exhibits, the house web page of the CVS web site featured a image of youthful girls on the road throwing confetti. Alongside the picture sits its name to motion: Celebrate International Women’s Day with CVS. The choices given for “celebrating” embrace:

  • Schedule a girls’s well being examination
  • Refill prescriptions,
  • COVID-19 booster, testing, remedy & information

Is it silly content material? Yes. Handling well being wants isn’t a good way to rejoice the accomplishments of ladies – or anybody for that matter. And the picture suits the celebratory message, however doesn’t relate in any respect the health-focused messaging.

CVS did what a lot of manufacturers do with celebratory and recognition days or months – they see the overall matter and discover a method to shoehorn what they already want to promote or message into that theme. That’s a surefire method to flip off the audience, who now notice your model doesn’t care sufficient concerning the matter to make investments your time creating authentic, related content material.

Instead of celebrating women, @CVSPharmacy celebrates Women’s History Month with reminders for women to schedule and exam or refill a prescription, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. #FoolishContent #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

Brand 2: Johnson & Johnson

The international health-care model Johnson & Johnson used International Women’s Day to inform how girls have made an influence within the firm since its 1886 founding with an article and infographic.

Click to enlarge

It speaks to its historical past – 14 founding workers have been girls – and its current – 54% of latest hires in 2021 have been girls and 48% of administration positions are held by girls. It seems to be to the longer term by talking to the following era by its Scholars Award Program to encourage girls within the science, expertise, engineering, math, manufacturing, and design fields. It additionally speaks globally on the way it’s serving to girls’s well being and championing girls within the workforce.

Is it silly content material? No. Johnson & Johnson understood the aim of International Women’s Day and created content material that matches the celebratory and activist messaging. Interestingly, the web page says it was up to date in March 2023, indicating it had been printed beforehand. That’s one other good transfer – you don’t all the time want to craft authentic content material or idiot your viewers into considering the content material is new.

The headline (9 Ways Johnson & Johnson Has Supported Women Since 1896) appears a little silly. Why not flip it round to put the deal with the ladies not the corporate? Here’s a suggestion: 9 Ways Women Have Shaped Johnson & Johnson Since 1896.

Content advertising and marketing to entice workers

Charged with advertising and marketing the corporate to potential workers, the profession sections of name web sites serve a number of functions. More than a dwelling for job listings, the profession part ought to inform the story of the worker expertise – to assist potential candidates perceive higher if the corporate will probably be a good match for them.

Brand 1: GE

GE is aware of what guests to its career section need – a job. That’s why they begin with a search software and the heading “Find the jobs that match your strengths.”

From there, they function a various vary of tales about their workers, tackling matters just like the influence of their work, what led them to their careers, acceptance and consciousness, and rather more.

Then they inform the story of what life is like at GE from a number of views – working at GE, college students, inclusion and variety, and advantages.

Is it silly content material? Not in any respect. GE hosts a well-designed, cohesive website that helps potential candidates perceive the tradition, co-workers, the larger image, and what they could get from working with the worldwide model.

Brand 2: Caterpillar

In its production careers section, Caterpillar emphasizes “Manufacturing & Production” by making it the most important header, adopted by these two paragraphs:

Manufacturing is on the coronary heart of our firm. For greater than 90 years, Caterpillar has been offering revolutionary buyer options – from the track-type tractor that gave us our Caterpillar title, to the diesel engine, the elevated sprocket, the hybrid excavator and extra. Without our worldwide manufacturing workers, none of this is able to be doable. They contact every thing we make that digs, powers, builds, crushes, cuts and operates. Quite merely, it’s each product we promote, each service we offer and every thing in between.

An opportunity to make high quality merchandise that matter.

An picture header above the first textual content reads in smaller print, “Do Work That Matters,” with the subhead, “Here Your Work Impacts the World.”

The web page additionally contains a thumbnail to a video that tells an worker’s story. As guests scroll down, they see a couple of production-focused articles from 2021, adopted by an infographic celebrating manufacturing. At the tip, worker photographs are used with their first title and a quote about their work at Caterpillar.

Is it silly content material? Yes, within the design and generic phrases. The first sentences communicate to the corporate’s prolonged historical past and its extra outstanding merchandise. Those phrases would work on virtually another normal Caterpillar web page – they don’t communicate to the expertise of working for the corporate.

Then, the textual content connects to careers with a platitude: “Without our employees, none of this would be possible.” That throwaway line wouldn’t make a potential worker really feel that the corporate really cares about them. After all, each firm, whatever the trade, may say the identical.

Plus, the web page design emphasizes the class (manufacturing and manufacturing) greater than the mission (do work that issues), speaking as soon as once more that the mission is much less necessary.

Using workers in profession part content material is a good transfer, however the movies seem to be an afterthought, and the quotes are generic. Mary says, “I love what I do and the people I work with.” Then there’s this line: “Shaun motivates those around him with his dedicated commitment to the company and his unyielding focus on excellence.” That isn’t even a quote – it’s simply a assertion about Shaun.

@CaterpillarInc’s manufacturing & production careers page uses a generic design and words about the company that could work on any page, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. #FoolishContent #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

Stop the foolin’

April Fools’ content material will fill your feeds over the following few days. Use it as a reminder to revisit your personal content material. Is any of it silly? By that, I imply:

  • Does the content material ship on the promise? Are you actually entertaining the viewers or simply saying they need to be entertained?
  • Does the content material match the context? Are you creating content material related to the event or becoming the event into your present content material?
  • Does the content material collectively serve the mission? Are you creating all of the content material parts by maintaining the supposed viewers – and their function – in thoughts?

Let us know what you discover in your silly content material in your evaluation – or in case you see others joking round, please share that.

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute