Strategic Parody

Humor and parody are potent weapons in the right hands.  There is no defense and they can be highly disruptive to prevailing narratives when wielded skillfully. Yet far too few corporations use these sophisticated media tools against their adversaries.  We can help you leverage the power of parody.

Why are corporations so vulnerable to ridicule?  One reason is structural.  A corporation speaks for multiple people and constituencies each with their own sense of propriety.  The other is cultural.  Corporations are meant to be sober, mature and adult. And they are quantitative cultures that naturally discount things that can’t be measured or analyzed . . . like humor.

CassonActivist organizations, in contrast, are filled with emotional PolySci majors who cut Econ 101 in order to get high and watch MST3K.  A convincing argument to a corporate CFO involves a spreadsheet of numbers but activists prefer catcalls that appeal to low-information observers like themselves.

Corporations have the power to turn the tables on these adversaries and deflate them with parody.  First of all, your adversaries aren’t expecting pointed humor from a corporation.  They haven’t accounted for it in their campaign plans.  And they are more vulnerable to it than you are. Their perceived authority is their only asset. When you invite others to question that authority with mockery your corporate adversaries will react with the same amusingly indignant defensiveness that they count on from stuffy corporations.

We’ve done this before and it’s devastatingly effective.  Best of all, your target will prefer to take the dispute offline immediately once humor is deployed so your issues quickly retreat behind closed doors where activist clout suffocates in the absence of media oxygen.

Fight parody with parody!

Contango! from Cinema Verite on Vimeo.