Bring on the baby bloopers and family fiascos

"America’s Funniest Home Videos" is opening its 23-season deep library to advertisers.

"America’s Funniest Home Videos" has been on the air for 23 years. That’s more than 200,000 video clips of family bloopers, pet pratfalls, and babies doing just about everything. The show’s producers think advertisers will be willing to pay for those funny moments, so the producers are going to license them out.

Among the categories: Macarena videos, dogs acting humans, kids jumping from the roof into the pool.

“A lot of the most successful ads are those ads that have animals and have children, ” said Dave Reibstein, a professor of marketing at Wharton.

And who doesn’t love animals or children?

“Advertisers are interested in attention and people having a warm and fuzzy feeling about whatever they’ve just seen,” Reibstein said.
 
Then there’s humor, which Reibstein says is a very popular approach for advertisers. Funny gets our attention. Prashant Malaviya, a marketing professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of business, says advertisers rely on lots of strategies to sell things, like fear or sex, but family appeals to anyone who’s ever been a parent, a child, or any part of a family.

Subaru got the message. Its new Forester ad features a little girl playing the accordion in the back seat of a car, while her beagle sings along.

Sheriece Matias, corporate communications manager for Subaru of America, says if you think creating an ad like this would be a simple production you’ve thought wrong.

“You’d think it would be easy to recreate but some of them are just these magical moments,” Matias says.
 
Matias says it’s not just about being cute, or funny but also authentic. Consumers, she says,  relate to real people and events even if it means ending face down, with your dog, in a plate of spaghetti.

About the author

Sally Herships is a regular contributor to Marketplace.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...