When I latch on to an idea, I grip it with both hands and shake it by the lapels. If the concept doesn’t fall apart, I begin an exhaustive effort to explore a theme. For me this consists of finding the funny bits and seeing how far I can take them.
Though many people say they don’t enjoy puns, I think puns are a sign of intellectual dexterity and verbal acrobatics. I’ve taken deep dives into many different themes by starting with humor and seeing how far I could ride it.
I once had to design a marketing brochure with a Las Vegas theme.
I chose a deck of cards to be on the initial invitation to illustrate the idea that this company had “the winning hand”. For the next hour I rattled off as many humorous puns and jokes as a I could.
- Let the chips fall where they may
- What a great deal
- Come visit our full house
- We’re playing it straight
- We’re all flush with excitement
- We have a great event on deck
And many more…
My co-workers were laughing along with me, but my boss… well, he would have preferred if I’d simply kept silent and worked faster on completing the brochure design.
The time I spent free-flowing alternate ideas for the concept were not wasted minutes. The ideas were something we could pitch to the print customer and tell them we’d been thinking about their project and had come up with a few ideas for them to review.
My extra time punning ended up realizing additional revenues for the company because while some may find puns annoying, they were also a creative way to describe additional ideas through the use of metaphor.
The client “got” the mental picture and was able to clearly understand the additional ideas we were suggesting and bought into the concept — increasing their spending with us in order to make a bigger impact with their audience and raise awareness (and ticket sales!) to their event.
The next time you’re worried about going too far with a project theme, consider that you may not have gone far enough.