The Lesson – Go ahead and use stereotypes.

By Amber Hudson and Luke Sklar

Luke saw this on a t-shirt on Facebook:

Heaven is Where:

The Police are British, The Chefs are Italian, The Mechanics are German, The Lovers are French, and it’s all organized by the Swiss.

Hell is Where:

The Police are German, The Chefs are British, The Mechanics are French, The Lovers are Swiss, and it’s all organized by the Italians.

In keeping with the theme of stereotypes, no doubt you’ve seen at least one of the Sh*t People Say videos:  Sh*t Girls Say, Sh*t Yogis Say, and our personal fave, Sh*t Market Researchers Say.

Stay with me…

Now have a look at this video from Sauza tequila (ladies…I know).

Hilarious, right!  But wait, aren’t we supposed to be offended by stereotypes? In a previous blog we discussed how stereotypes teach us the importance of laughing at ourselves.  Now we’re sharing lessons on how to effectively use stereotypes to connect with your consumer.  That’s right, go ahead and blatantly use stereotypes.   BUT!  Before you leap into a field of landmines, think about the t-shirt, the videos the tequila ad and what they all have in common:

  • They lead with a velvet glove – they’ve earned the right to use a stereotype by first winning you over
  • Great humour is rooted in truth
  • (The videos) exploit provocative insights.  In fact, they know the target so well it’s almost as if they’ve been listening in on their conversations (jeggings are pants!)
  • Those being stereotyped feel they are part of a special club
  • They are clever, yet exaggerated and completely over the top ridiculousness
  • …and not the slightest big nasty

So yes, go ahead and use stereotypes.  Tread carefully.  But if done right, your consumers will love you!