Humor in Advertising Part 1

No matter how you feel about the use of humor in advertising, I’m guessing that you can still point to at least one t.v., radio, print or digital ad over the years that tickled your funny bone. Personally, my favorite humorous ad campaign was one that Sprite ran many years ago where they made fun of advertising itself, whilst selling you on their product all the while, I thought it was brilliant. Who can forget the Pace Picante Sauce ads from the 90’s, the Budweiser wassssssup ads or their football playing horses?! Anheuser-Busch also ran a series of pretty funny “you’re not getting my Bud Light” ads and I really like the “Wanna get away” Southwest Airlines ad campaign. Geico, Snickers, Old Spice, Dollar Shave Club, Gillette, Old Spice, Groupon, Apple and many other companies have run successful ad campaigns using humor as well.

In October of 2017, Ideal Positions decided to jump into the fray and try our hand at “the funny”, despite a complete lack of experience in such endeavors, some time constraints, and a few minor production errors, I would like to think that we accomplished at least making our own mothers laugh.

Our first attempt was a local radio ad that played to the tongue-in-cheek idea that the best place to hide a dead body is on the 2nd page of the Google search results because nobody looks there. We liked the general idea but I particularly was unsure how to go about making a homicide themed ad potable for the general public. It was our company president Josh Babbitt who took the reigns and wrote a script that accomplished making this delicate theme palatable for mass consumption, he also produced and edited the ad in-house, it was his first attempt and he knocked it out of the park. (ad is attached below) Our timing also helped soften any potential blowback as the ad ran shortly before Halloween. The feedback we received from our radio rep, our staff and a few others was mostly positive and only encouraged both the boss and myself to take another shot at using public radio as a canvas for every smartass advertising idea we could think of, so far, soooooooooo fun!

Using a small filing room as a makeshift recording studio, we have been experimenting with different material and have involved various staff members in the process. The owner has become quite proficient with the mixing and editing programs he uses and he’s created a work environment that’s supportive of everyone’s ideas. On any given day, our staff and neighbors can hear laughter from the “studio” bellowing through the hallways here at IDP Headquarters. I absolutely love being a part of these projects and am grateful for the opportunity to have my suggestions and contributions taken under advisement by the brain trust.

We have since run Christmas and Valentine’s Day ads (V-Day ad is attached below) and have 4 more in the production and pre-production phases that include: Daylight Savings, Tax Time, Unsolved Mysteries and Missing Persons themed ads.

What are your favorite funny ads? Send your answers to

Make sure to check out part 2 of this blog where I delve into the debate within our industry about the use of humor in advertising.


The grandfather of modern advertising, Claude Hopkins, said:

Don’t treat your subject lightly. Don’t lessen respect for your self or your article by any attempt at frivolity. People do not patronize a clown. There are two things about which men should not joke. One is business, one is home. An eccentric picture may do you serious damage. One may gain attention by wearing a fool’s cap. But he would ruin his selling prospects.

But then check and you will see this:

Ignore those snobs who say humor has no place in sales and marketing, that prospects don’t buy from clowns, or you should never poke fun at your own brand. They do not understand the likeability factor of humor.



Ideal Positions Honored as One of Five North American Finalists for Google’s (Global) Premier Partners Awards

This May, Google invited Ideal Positions to enter the First Annual Premier Partners Awards.  This contest of the best advertisers in the world would be segmented into several different categories, and go through several rounds of judging to find the Best of the Best.  We pushed hard to meet the deadline- staff members pitched in to write essays, develop case studies, shoot video, etc…     Today we learned that we made it to the shortlist!  Ideal Positions is 1 of only 5 agencies in the US and Canada in the running to win the category of “Growing Businesses Online”. Of all the agencies in the world, Ideal Positions is 1 out of 95 agencies who made the shortlist. That’s really something!

Below is one of the 6 essays written for the contest. We think you’ll agree, Ideal Positions has what it takes! We find out by late August if we have made it through to the next round.


An online advertising agency doesn’t thrive for 13 years in this industry just by being adequate. Ideal Positions is something special. We’ve been able to anticipate and adapt to changes with ease and stability. One of the biggest things that supports this and what keeps us different than the rest is our sincere desire to do right by our employees and our clients. We hear a lot of horror stories from clients about their previous experience with other agencies, and we feel a sense of pride knowing that we’re going to do our best by them and operate with transparency and integrity, be helping them to grow their business and be successful.

We have many stories of clients who came to us ready to close their businesses and decided to try advertising with us as a last attempt to keep their doors open. There’s a surfing instructor in Santa Monica, CA who was going to give up and move his family across the state to live with his parents and teach stand-up paddleboard lessons on a small lake in an underpopulated area. We convinced him to try our service, and starting with a very small budget, we were able to bring him enough clients to keep his business in Santa Monica and then grow it enough to allow his wife to start her own Children’s Event business (which we also advertised for)!  There’s also the electrician in Texas who was working for himself, gave us a chance and soon was able to hire additional help, buy more trucks, expand to service other cities, and continues to grow! Another is a father and son Law Firm, also in Texas, who were about to close their doors, but through working with us for several years, were able to open several other offices, hire many additional lawyers, expand their practice areas from bankruptcy, to family, and also criminal law, and even expand into other areas of advertising such as television and radio.

Ideal Positions’ employees try harder. Maintaining an employee base with over 60% having been with the company more than 6 years allows us to provide a level of service that other companies without that kind of employee tenure can’t compete with. The teamwork and expertise that comes from years of experience watching both our accounts and the industry change and grow gives us an edge over our competition, which is reflected in our clients’ success. This industry can be a challenging but exciting one, requiring flexibility and frequent adjustments- our staff are used to that, and thrive on it.

In our time as a small company, we’ve met the challenges brought by the evolution of

Google’s advertising platforms head-on.  As a company that does all of our work by hand, by our employees, and doesn’t outsource any of our account structuring, optimization, copy-writing, bid management, etc., it takes us more time to adapt to Google’s changes. We put in the extra blood, sweat, tears, and hours, so that we can be confident that the service we’ve provided our clients has been executed by experts. Our clients appreciate this level of service, and in an age of automation, it makes a difference to many of them to know that a real human being is looking after the well-being of their business. Automation and the application of machine learning is important to move toward, but the current climate of small business is that the owners still want to know that there are real people they can trust who are running their accounts.

Ideal Positions’ analysis of client acquisition and retention has shown that over 20% of new clients are actually returning clients. We feel this reinforces that we’re doing something right. In an industry where the competition continues to grow year after year, knowing that clients keep coming back time and time again is a strong argument that Ideal Positions deserves the Growing Businesses Online Award.


For more information check out our Facebook post!

SMX Advanced Conference 2017 Recap

Josh, Mara I  got back from SMX Advanced in Seattle, WA last week. It was a very fun and educational experience. After 2 full days of knowledge flooding your brain there’s nothing quite like recovering from all that, but the knowledge learned there is incredible and very useful!


The Year Of Mobile (Been there done that)


I’m sure you have heard the talk of “The Year Of Mobile”. Lots of us have for years now and at SMX Advanced this year they didn’t hold back on throwing jabs about how that’s already happened. Mobile traffic exceeded Desktop traffic back in 2016. So when you hear people say “Is this year going to be the year of mobile?” you can inform them that it’s already history. It’s highly unlikely that mobile searches are going to drop drastically in the near future. In fact they will probably continue to grow more and more over the next few years.

There was some great information on how to utilize Microsoft Excel with Bing Ads to streamline account optimization. There was also a lot of talk about how Bing has some upcoming surprises in the near future. So this might end up being “The Year Of Bing”. There was also some talk on interesting targeting methods and information on protecting your brand.


That’s just some of what was gone over at SMX Advanced, but there was much more. As you can see it’s a lot to take in and this was my first year there, but I can’t wait to go back next year! Hopefully you enjoyed reading about my experience!

Celebrating Memorial Day

Today at Ideal Positions we celebrated our upcoming 4-day weekend Memorial Day holiday with a yummy all you can eat taco bar!  We had a great mix of chicken, carne asada, carnitas, and a delicious vegan crumble option!  To top off the tacos we had some amazing hot sauces from Humboldt Hot Sauce – yummy!

Eating lunch and enjoying the sunny day!
A yummy taco!

Our office will be closed Friday, May 26th & Monday, May 29th in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. We hope you have fun and safe holiday weekend!

Under New Ownership

In 2004, Kelsy Anderson began a long-distance hike on the Appalachian Trail and what she thought were steps in the wrong direction, turned out to be leading her towards just the right path. In June of that year, Kelsy started Ideal Positions working from home with no equity funding and no loans. It was just her ingenuity at the kitchen counter of her studio apartment. Several months later, she cemented a working relationship with James “Shannon” Sullivan, who partnered in the company with her.

In January of 2005, they signed their first lease for a 900 square foot basement space in the Stuart School Building in Arcata, CA and hired 5 employees almost immediately. By April 2007, big changes were in store for the company. On April 1st, Kelsy and Shannon reached an agreement for Kelsy to take over Ideal Positions as the sole owner. Later that month the company moved upstairs in the same building to a larger, 2,600 square foot office space in order to accommodate a growing staff. Very soon, even this larger space was not enough to keep up with the company’s growth! Next they moved into an office space twice the size in the Arcata Technology Center. In February 2016, Ideal Positions made its last and most recent move to a brand new office space near the airport in McKinleyville. Since its inception 12 years ago in Kelsy’s home, Ideal Positions has grown to a company of 20 employees with an impressive presence in the online marketing industry.

Guiding the company from the beginning, Kelsy still remembers that feeling of getting her own private office back in 2007. In that moment, she recognized how far she had come from her kitchen counter. At the end of every workday, her favorite ritual was to go around the office locking up and turning off the lights. She would then pause to look over the office and the employees’ workstations, and bow to acknowledge the creation of this organization and the people who make up the soul of the company. This moment of pause kept her heart grateful for all the amazing people who promoted the strength and fostered the personality of the company into what it is today.

It’s the personality of the company that Kelsy enjoyed seeing most at the yearly holiday parties. These have always been an opportunity for employees to interact in a more relaxed setting— always bringing out interesting and surprising parts of employee’s personalities, as well as the most heartfelt expressions of camaraderie and appreciation for one another. Kelsy has always considered one of her proudest accomplishments in her role as business owner as someone who was able to create jobs. Having a positive impact on those employees, getting to know them, and creating a positive working environment for all staff is something that she’s thoroughly enjoyed.

Now, Kelsy has taken the next step on her journey. On October 1, 2016, Ideal Positions changed ownership, and Josh Babbitt, the SEM Department Manager who has been with the company since 2008 took the lead. Through all the trials and tribulations of the last 12 years, Kelsy came to realize that the two great loves in her life, owning her own business and being a parent to her 3 young boys, were in constant competition. Being a business owner is an intense and all-consuming responsibility that can make it difficult to be fully present in parenting young children. By deciding to sell the company, Kelsy hopes to be able to be the best parent she can to her children as well as take some time to return to her passions of hiking, yoga, and visiting friends and family. Since she regularly only had a few hours every week “off the clock”, she plans to spend this new time nurturing her family and her soul.

What allowed her to be able to take this next step is knowing that the company will be in the very capable hands of Josh Babbitt. Kelsy describes Josh as one of the finest people she knows. In her many years of business, she has developed the ability to discern between someone that’s the real-deal and someone who is not. Josh is the real deal. He is the last person to take credit and the first to recognize others. His innate leadership ability makes people want to work hard for him and be on his team because he earns their respect through his hard work, humility, and competence. Kelsy fondly remembers a time when Josh asked for a personal day off. As someone who regularly works some of the longest hours and rarely takes time off, the request was out of the ordinary. But it was the premier of the new Star Wars movie and Josh could not miss this “once in a lifetime event.” It is this similar interest and passion in all things technological that sets Josh apart. He is a “technical wizard” and Kelsy has the utmost confidence that he will continue to stay two steps ahead in this ever-changing industry. Kelsy and everyone at Ideal Positions are extremely excited to have Josh take on this important role and cannot wait to see what the future holds!