Festive fun: Content marketers can learn from Christmas crackers
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your festive content, you’ll be keen to find out if there’s anything content marketers can learn from Christmas crackers. We are too – and not just because we love a good pun!
Here, we’ll explore what makes these table decorations so popular, and discover if content marketers can learn from Christmas crackers.
All about Christmas crackers:
It’s that time of year where people pull out the puns and groans are made across the dinner table. The jokes are invariably awful, but it’s still not really Christmas if you haven’t pulled a cracker!
The tradition began in Victorian times when Tom Smith – a man who sold sweeties – started adding mottos to his sugared-almond bonbons, which were wrapped in a twisted paper packet.
Legend has it, the idea of adding ‘bangs’ to his packaging came after hearing the crackle of a log he’d just put on the fire.
Luckily for us he decided to scrap the almond sweets (yuck!) and wrap up little gifts instead. Years later, a paper crown was added to the (now familiar) long package and that was how our traditional Christmas crackers came to be. Interesting story, right?
8 of our favourite cracker jokes
It was pretty inevitable that we’d subject you to a few of our favourite Christmas cracker jokes. They’ll demonstrate our point later, but really, they’re just a good excuse to have a giggle:
Here are the classics:
- Why can’t a bike stand up by itself? Because it’s two-tyred.
- What do you get if you cross Santa with a gardener? Someone who likes to hoe, hoe, hoe!
- What do they sing at a snowman’s birthday party? Freeze a jolly good fellow!
- What do you get if you cross Santa with a duck? A Christmas Quacker!
- The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future walk into a bar … it was tense!
And a few more … topical … jokes:
- What do you get if you cross Donald Trump with a Christmas Carol? O Comb Over Ye Faithful!
- How will Christmas dinner be different after Brexit? No Brussels!
- What does Miley Cyrus have at Christmas? Twerky!
Why are Christmas crackers so popular?
When Tom Smith started creating crackers, he added in mottos inspired by love for his female customers. As time went on, the messages evolved into poems by Shakespeare, Wordsworth and even some jokes about current events – including the Suffragette Movement and the Channel Tunnel!
These messages used to target individual segments of society, but nowadays they tend to be more universal. (Unless, of course, you want to splash out on the hand-made sets from Asprey and Selfridges…)
Anyway, what makes these awful jokes so popular with modern audiences? They’re so well-loved because they’re rubbish by nature! They’re not supposed to be funny, they’re designed to bring people together.
The Christmas-dinner table is a place where a variety of people come together. Yes, you may all have the same surname, but there will be different age groups, interests and demographics around one table. It’s tough to make them all laugh at the same good joke, so why not make them laugh with a bad one instead?
So, what can content marketers can learn from Christmas crackers?
There are many things content marketers can learn from Christmas crackers, however they might not be obvious. Luckily for you, as copywriters and self-proclaimed Christmas cracker experts, we’re here to talk you through this. Take a look!
1. Humour can win people over … even if the jokes are bad!
First things first, we’re not advocating filling your content with bad puns. That’s a sure-fire way to push visitors away from your site.
However, one or two well-placed jokes, anecdotes or allegories might make a big difference and win people over. They show off your brand’s personal side, while creating engaging and memorable content. Who wouldn’t like that?
2. Some content should appeal to everyone
One thing content marketers can learn from Christmas crackers is that sometimes one piece of content should speak to everyone.
Now, we know this goes against what we normally say about targeting each piece of content to a specific segment or audience persona. However, some pages – like the home page or about us page – need to appeal to all visitors that come to your site, not just one demographic.
Within pages like these, you need to address the needs and desires of all your audience segments, without being too wordy. Think about each segment’s next steps and make sure the option these users need is easily available.
Eventually, AI will come into play and will have the ability to introduce a highly-personalised version of these pages for each user. However, until then you need to fulfil all of your clients’ needs on one page. This can be tricky, so keep conducting tests to make sure you get this right!
3. Make sure your content has a ‘bang’!
The original Christmas cracker was a little boring, until Smith added the ‘bang’ inspired by his log fire.
This is one lesson content marketers can learn from Christmas crackers too; every piece of content needs a ‘bang’ – something that will grab attention and even slightly shock the audience.
However, nasty surprises should be avoided! The unexpected element should be just enough to hook your audience and encourage users to find out more.
4. Keep building on what you’ve got
The Christmas cracker has evolved considerably over the past 150 years. Mr Smith probably wouldn’t recognise it because of the improvements made, adjustments for various audience interests and new technology.
Sounds familiar? Well, that’s exactly what’s happening with content marketing! You may have a good grounding in it now, but the entire discipline is evolving as demands change and technologies advance.
Content marketing is starting to permeate all elements of digital marketing. You must embrace the changes if your brand’s still going to be around in 150 years like the Christmas cracker!
Who’d have thought it? There are at least four ways content marketers can learn from Christmas crackers … it’s making us think what else we can learn from festive traditions. Next week, we’ll be ‘exploring’ Christmas puddings (only joking)!