“My name is Andy, and I’ve come to a startling realization. I’m only one letter away from being a conjunction.”
That’s how I sometimes open up my stand-up act. So you may wonder why I’m writing about stand-up in the Cadient blog. We can all agree that pharmaceutical advertising is definitely not a laughing matter, but surprisingly, comedy has a lot in common with communicating to healthcare professionals and patients. And the truth is there are some important things I’ve learned from stand-up that I use every day in my job as a copywriter in this industry.
1) Good material is important
Like stand-up comedy, pharmaceutical advertising starts with the material. To be relevant, you need good, solid material to share with healthcare professionals and patients. That means strong, clear data and compelling information. The bottom line is that good material is the best way to stand apart from the competition.
2) Delivery is everything
It’s not just what you say, but how you say something, that is important. In stand-up, the best comics can make even mediocre material come alive. That’s also true in pharma advertising where how you present something counts for a lot. The copy would mean nothing if it’s not presented in a captivating design or layout.
3) Need to adjust material for your audience
No matter what you are communicating, know your audience. Otherwise, the message will have little to no meaning to the intended recipients. So whether you’re a comedian performing at a college event or a copywriter developing an email for healthcare professionals, the audience must be kept in mind to maximize the effectiveness of the communication. And plus, it’s a great way to avoid bombing and being booed off the stage!
4) A creative, unique POV will leave a lasting impression
All successful comics have a unique perspective on stories and everyday observations. This fresh lens is what makes something particularly funny and memorable. The same holds true for pharmaceutical advertising. You’re more likely to get your message across to your audience if you’re saying something in a creative, unique way. Just another run-of-the-mill email or banner ad will likely fall flat, whereas something that dazzles will leave an impression.
5) Timing is critical
In comedy, timing is critical. When you deliver a punchline can make or break a bit. The same can be said for pharma advertising. When an email is delivered or a website released can make all the difference.
6) Keep them guessing
The element of surprise is always effective in comedy. A turn or twist is good for a laugh. The unexpected also works in pharma advertising. If you are pleasantly surprised by a communication from a brand, aren’t you more likely to remember the messaging?
7) Be honest and authentic
You have a better chance of being well received if you are true to yourself (or brand). Whether it’s comedy or pharma advertising, people can see through phony messaging. Shakespeare was right: “To thine own self be true.”
But seriously folks
Obviously, not everything you need to know about pharma advertising could come from stand-up comedy, but there are a good number of lessons for us all. And yes, I’ll be here all week!
Latest posts by Andy Bornstein (see all)
- 7 Ways Stand-up Comedy Can Improve Healthcare Marketing - April 1, 2015