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Tone is everything

If you’ve got a message to get across through online content, make sure you know your audience…

No matter what your message is, unless you’re delivering it in a way your target market will relate to, you haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of it sticking.

Take the old Aussie anti drink-driving ads, for instance. You know the ones: ‘If you drink and drive, you’re a bloody idiot.’ As heart-wrenching as they were, they were a message young people – the target audience for many of the ads – wanted to look away from. The phrasing of the tagline, too, reeked of something your dad would bellow at you, something that most young people are adept at blocking out.

See for yourself: is this a commercial that would reach young people, or is it a commercial that struck such a chord with the older generation that they assumed it would have to reach younger ones as well? Our thought is that the monologue by the girl’s father brings it very much into a middle-aged lens.

Compare it to the latest public campaign against drink driving in New Zealand. Not only does it use comedy to get the message across, but it also contains a veiled reference to a viral Kiwi YouTube clip – the ‘Beached As’ video – which immediately grabs the attention of younger viewers.

With a reinforced positive message at the end – ‘bloody legend’ instead of ‘bloody idiot’, it’s much more focused on a younger target audience, and much more likely to be shared around.

This is a prime example of content that hits the spot.


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