by MKJ Marketing

Television advertising should immediately grab the viewer’s attention. Some advertisers use shock value or humor as their chosen method of doing this. But is it appropriate in funeral service? It’s probably fair to say we’ve all seen at least one funeral service-related advertisement or social media post that made us cringe. It’s a very fine line! And if you cross it, you run the risk of losing a customer.

On the other hand, how many times have you seen a typical funeral home commercial? We all know how it goes . . . it was likely filmed in the funeral home, showcases the facilities and the owner – and lacks any creativity. No entertainment value. You might even have one of these ads on the air right now. We all know what’s likely to happen when someone sees that commercial. They’re going to tune it out, fast forward through it, or leave the room when it flashes onto the screen.

At MKJ, we know funeral home advertising for TV. No one has produced more professional, award-winning pre-produced and custom ads for funeral service than MKJ. We also have the knowledge that comes from 30 years of funeral industry research, focus groups, and experience.

And we would say that you can – and should – use humor, if you do it correctly. After all, humor is one of the oldest and most reliable ways to connect with people quickly – whether in relationships or in advertising. Think about the last time you laughed at an ad. Did you feel your mind was better engaged? Did the way you felt about the advertiser improve? A truly funny commercial keeps us in our seats, compels us to invite others to watch (sometimes over and over again), and has staying power.

Using our knowledge and experience of television advertising and funeral service, we’ve unleashed a new preplanning, pre-produced TV spot that utilizes humor in an appropriate and effective way. And funeral home owners are snatching it up for exclusive licensing in their area.

It’s called “Milkshake,” and it takes on one of the newest reasons we’ve seen emerging in our research and focus groups for why people are choosing to preplan in 2018: They simply don’t trust their family to get it right once they’re gone – or do it at all! Or maybe they chose not to have a family.

Milkshake is a comical, yet “real-life” peek into a family where Mom and Dad consider what it might mean if they leave their funeral arrangements to their failure-to-launch son, who is in his late 20s and most likely living in their basement. Viewers will laugh and maybe identify with the couple in the ad . . . and begin to think, “What will happen when I die? Who will plan my funeral? Do I trust them to get it right?” The message in “Milkshake” prompts a call-to-action. After the initial laugh comes the sobering reality: That could be me. In truth, that will be me someday – and I need to do something about it.

At MKJ, we know cable television represents the best advertising value for 80% of funeral homes. That’s why we stay on the cutting edge of what messages work with consumers. Keep this in mind as you call us for a TV demo of our latest preplanning spot, “Milkshake.” After you see it, you’ll want to reserve the exclusive rights for this ad in your market while it’s still available.