Put America’s ‘awkward addiction’ to work in social media

Videos that make customers uncomfortable can also earn their trust.

Videos that make customers uncomfortable can also earn their trust

For those of you who read Mike’s Ad of the Week post about the Skittles Tube Sock ad, you’ll remember that he said, “You’re not really sure if they’re brilliant or bad. And that’s part of the charm.”

So true.

We’ve become culturally addicted to humor that makes us feel uncomfortable. Shows such as “The Office” (especially the original series on the BBC) leave us unsure if we are meant to laugh or cringe. Web sites become cult hits by showing us images of awkward family photos that cause the same mixed reaction. Everywhere you turn, social codes are being pushed to the point of discomfort, and it’s no surprise that brands are getting in on the action. The question is, why does a seemingly nonsensical idea like tube socks’ shocking tongues while shilling candy work so well?

Here are three true reasons why awkwardly funny videos work so well in the new world of social marketing:

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