Do Something Like VH1, Use Humor in Advertising

Jane Lynch sitting next to TV with Mob Wives on it, while promoting Do Something Awards

Who wants to tune in to a TV show to watch a bunch of do-gooders get awards? Seriously, people tune in in much greater numbers to watch someone’s downfall or watch so-called housewives pull each other’s hair and spend themselves into bankruptcy.

VH1 decided to use this “trashy TV” trend to promote viewership of its Do Something Awards show (airing August 18).

Say what?

Yes, that’s right. VH1, the same channel that airs such trashy TV dramas such as Basketball Wives and Mob Wives, is hosting the Do Something Awards. (If you don’t know about the Do Something organization, click here.)

Even if you don’t plan on watching the awards, you should at least tune in to see the commercials.

My favorite is called “Class” and is at this link below  (sorry there was no way to embed it):

This commercial hits all the high points of good advertising.

Humor – Why is humor such a good choice? Many companies are afraid to make fun of themselves, but VH1 shows how to do it right. Self-deprecation is perfect for a channel that’s not known for it’s high-brow or do-good shows.

Perfect spokesperson – Who else could deliver this humor as well as Jane Lynch? She has that deadpan delivery that is just right for self-deprecating humor and always makes you chuckle.

Memorable – Because the ad makes fun of the contradiction between much of VH1’s programming and the Do Something Awards, you’re more likely to remember what channel the awards are on. Smart. They also play on this same contradiction in a different way in their “Do Someone” commercial.

Humor, when it works, makes everything memorable. And Gleeful Jane Lynch is a memorable spokesperson. So, even if you don’t remember exactly what the ads are for, you can Google “Jane Lynch awards show” or “Jane Lynch hosts awards” and find her Do Something gig on the first page of both sets of results.

So, next time you have to come up with an advertising campaign for something that normally wouldn’t fit your image, remember this VH1 ad. And remember: It’s okay to use humor as long as you use it right. Make sure your audience (not just you) finds it funny.


Organizations like Do Something prove that one person really can make a difference. Check out this year’s finalists for the Do Something awards. 


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