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Newsletter #920: The “Just Have Fun” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

One of the best ways to get someone’s attention, to make your product worth sharing, or to get people to know you better isn’t complicated, techie, or serious — it’s all about having fun. Here are some ways you can do it:

1. Let the kids have it
2. Repackage old content
3. Turn it into a game
4. Check it out: Portraits of dogs shaking off water

1. Let the kids have it

Fundraisers are more meaningful when you can see a direct connection to where the donations are going. Some charities will send you a picture of the child you sponsor to tell their story. But one fundraising team decided to make this interaction a little more fun: To raise funds for Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital, the Foundation typed out the usual letter on white paper and then gave them to kids along with markers, crayons, craft scissors, and stickers. When they were done making them into airplanes, footballs, and drawings, they sent them off. This made a normal piece of direct mail into a personal letter from a child who would benefit from their contribution. That’s much more significant than traditional donation requests — and they gained hundreds of new supporters from it.

The lesson: How can you make the everyday stuff you do into something more fun, more noteworthy, and more meaningful?

Learn more: Brandflakes for Breakfast

2. Repackage old content

You’ve probably already done something your customers loved. Why not bring it back in a new and fun way? PBS has no shortage of amazing content from back in the day. So they did something different with their old stuff: They made an auto-tuned song of clips from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting. It was a new way of looking at something PBS had already done — and it was something everyone wanted to share.

The lesson: Chances are you have something from the past that’s worth revisiting. How can you make it more fun and more exciting now?

Learn more: Wired

3. Turn it into a game

Your customers will be more likely to appreciate and talk about your stuff if they have learned how to use it to its full potential — and it’s always more fun to learn something when it’s a game. For example, to get people to understand how to use Google better, they made their own trivia game where the objective is to find the answer using Google. Typically banned from other trivia games, Google made their own fun somewhere else — and taught people how to use their product even better. You don’t have to do anything techie to pull this off for your own stuff: have a contest, hold a scavenger hunt, whatever — just make it fun.

The lesson: How can you make it fun to learn more about your product?

Learn more: YouTube

4. Check it out: Portraits of dogs shaking off water

Speaking of fun, this must have been a hilarious photo shoot for photographer Carli Davidson.

Check it out: Carli Davidson

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