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Tagged ‘corporate comedy‘

Pershing Square Cafe

One of my first post-college roommates Bruse Loyd texted asking if I wanted to meet for lunch while he was in NYC this week. After some internal debate, I accepted hoping to finally get reimbursed for the October 1994 cable bill. No such luck, but at least I enjoyed the visit with Nick and Reese, who took me to Pershing Square Cafe located directly across 42nd St from Grand Central Station.

Pershing Square Cafe

My first job out of college was in sales with Xerox Corporation.  I’m pretty sure having that much fun on a job is not allowed anymore.  The job introduced me to corporate comedy as I used to write sketches and emcee the sales conferences.   Sales is an outstanding place to start a career as it forces you to learn the art of communication and negotiation quickly.

Pershing Square, NYC

After each copier sale, we were required to spend two hours training the customer on how to use the equipment.  Here’s a clip of my buddy Bruse :

And approximately 80% of our sales leads came from this commercial:

About the Cheeseburger & Comedy blog series.

FastCompany Interview: Corporate Comedy Video

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After speaking at NYU’s B2B social communications leadership conference, I had the chance to visit with FastCompany’s Drew Neisser about how corporations can help use  humor to build online audiences.    Check out the article here, and an extended discussion on Drew’s blog.

Real-Time Marketing & PR Hits Bestseller Lists

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Congrats to David Meerman Scott! His new book has hit the bestseller list in under a fortnight.  He quoted me a few times, and referenced a Cisco comedy video we produced as a case study.

One of my all-time favorite videos that Scott Teems and I worked on is the series we created with David to promote his book Worldwide Rave.  See video #2 in the playlist below.

David’s new book is  filled with excellent examples and practical tips for using social media to connect with your market. Available on Amazon.com

A Vote for Comedy in B2B Social Media

I had the pleasure of meeting Paul Gillin at the Inbound Marketing Summit this month in Foxboro, MA.   He was interested in a series of YouTube comedy videos  “Mainframe: The Art of the Sale,” and wrote a nice article about them.

A notes from behind the scenes:

The question I get most often about these is “how did you get these approved at a big corporation?’

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By starting small.  The first comedy I produced at IBM was at the end of 2004, and it was internal only — for a sales meeting — which kept the risk very low.  I kept the cost low by asking one of my best friends, Scott Teems, a director, to help me for $400.   The video was a hit, I was asked to create a sequel, and was able to pay Scott a nice tip.

SXSW panel: Late Night Comedy meets Corporate Video

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Our proposed panel has made it through the first round of the SXSW Interactive selections, and now we need your vote to make it to the show.  Scott Teems, SXSW Film Festival winning director for THAT EVENING SUN and I (contributor to SNL, Letterman, Conan, The Onion) will discuss a few of our corporate YouTube video hits that earned recognition from The New York Times and Comedy Central, as well as lessons learned from near “fireable offenses.”   Bestselling author David Meerman Scott (New Rules of Marketing & PR, Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead) will join us.

We’d appreciate your vote for our panel (voting ends 11:59 CDT Friday, August 27.) It takes a minute to register for an account, then click here [note: the panelpicker page doesn't allow for listing of all panelists, hence the above post]

http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/7744

The Business Case for Nonsense

I went to Harvard Business School.

But it was only for one evening.  Last Thursday, I was invited to present a case study on using comedy in corporate YouTube videos, and shared “Mainframe: The Art of the Sale.”  This video series we published in August 2006 continues to be discussed, simply because it’s funny.  It’s listed as a case study in the second edition of bestseller  The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott, published this month.  (Congrats, David!)

Comedy done well has the power to cut through clutter and to influence, and that’s helped me get an honorable mention on Click-Z’s Social Media All-Stars list.  My thanks to Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics.

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Here’s my presentation:The Business Case for Nonsense: IBM Social Media

View more presentations from Tim Washer.

Best practices for creating B2B marketing videos

Interview with David Meerman Scott on producing comedy videos for the corporate world.  Thanks to Matt Kaplan and the folks at VisibleGains.

Interview in American Entertainment Magazine

Here’s my interview on keeping the comedy clean at corporate events, and a little background on how I got started.