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How JFM build character

How JFM build character

Creating a cartoon character to help share your business message may not be the first direction you think of for a marketing campaign, but careful use of humorous drawings is a seriously under-rated method of connecting with your customers.

Of course I would say that, because I love any excuse to get back to the roots of my creative career in Australia, where I spent the first few years out of university as an illustrator, dreaming up whacky character situations for all sorts of retail brands including Mars Confectionery, M&M’s, CSR Sugar and Disney Australia. Big as those names might be, they never gave me the opportunity to create a blissfully villainous dairy cow character. I had to work my way back to Canterbury for that chance.

JFM has been privileged to work with Veehof Dairy Services and we’ve quickly come to admire their specialist expertise and passion for hoof care and cow rehabilitation. One aspect of Veehof’s business is focussed on improving the safety of both worker and cow during the hoof care process. Rather than just tell the customer what Veehof products are available for this work, JFM felt there was a real opportunity to show the target market that Veehof brand knows exactly how a lack of safety feels for the customer – and why not dealing with that safety issue, once and for all, can quite literally be a pain.

By having a stroppy cartoon dairy cow deliver the message at the expense of a hapless farmer wearing the “not again” expression, it becomes an enjoyable pause in time, something to relate to and laugh at. The message slips in under the guard of anyone bombarded by product promises.

I said “careful use of humorous drawings” in the opening sentence, because the humour MUST deliver a useful message for it to be a successful marketing tool. It also needs to reflect your brand in a positive way and not insult your customer. Ideally, the humour will be a shared in-joke between you and your market, and will depict situations your customers can completely relate to. By showing you understand the key problems of your target market in a relaxed, humorous manner, you begin to establish a relationship as a friendly acquaintance who can deliver the product or service which will solve those key problems.