This is what brand love looks like

If you are a fan of the television program The Office, I don’t need to explain the photo above.  You have to hand it to the creators of The Office: how many television shows do you know of whose fans willingly deface government property to spread around its in-jokes?  Oh, and there’s also the YouTube “That’s what she said” joke montage. Or the collection of “That’s what she said” jokes on Twitter.

That’s what I call brand love — authentic and communal.  You cannot force this kind of  loyalty; it has to be earned over a period of time, when a real following can take hold.  Where have you seen real brand love lately?

4 thoughts on “This is what brand love looks like

  1. While I would argue that the origin of \’That\’s what she said\’ goes back much further than The Office, I do get your point. Brand loyalty, brand love, either way you say it, it is something that advertisers seem to ignore as of late. I have seen many ads that attempt to garner new customers while alienating existing customers with ads that go against the established position of the brand.

    I understand that brands need to evolve, but it can be done with more grace than I see lately. I would think that this fine line is one that agencies would know how to walk by now. Is it getting harder as time goes by? (That\’s what she said)

  2. Hi Mike, thank you for weighing in. You\’re right about the \”That\’s what she said joke\” predating \”The Office.\” In the 1990s, I swear a work colleague of mine snuck in a \”That\’s what she said\” joke about every week. What fascinates me about \”The Office\” is how the brand loyalty grows organically because the humor is brilliant. Consumers are loading their favorite \”That\’s what she said\” jokes on to YouTube without being prompted to do so — which is the ultimate sign of brand love. I do think companies and agencies can get involved by making it easier for fans to share their brand love, with easy-to-share viral videos and widgets being two examples. I think the key is to be authentic. The content shared by the brand itself has to be genuinely funny (if indeed humor is crucial as it often is with viral marketing) and worthy of our attention and loyalty.

  3. Good point by ddeal about being authentic. Even when the situations on The Office become a little surreal, the office politics that they\’re based on always seem genuine and a lot more like the insanity that passes for normal in the workplace. It wouldn\’t be so funny otherwise.

    Mike Frizzi is right about the origins of \”That\’s what she said\” being older. I\’ve seen bloggers mention Wayne\’s World and Upright Citizen\’s Brigade as having used it earlier, but the first time I remember hearing it in the media was in a Todd Rundgren song in 1980. You can check it out here:

    http://www.rhapsody.com/utopia/adventures-in-utopia

    Click on song number 7 – there\’s a break in the middle where Todd says it to the chorus singing, \”Makes no sense to hang around if that\’s all there is to that.\”

    I\’ve never heard Todd claim to have invented the phrase either, but I\’d be curious to know if it was common when he used it. Anyone know of an earlier example?

  4. I can\’t say that we coined the phrase, but a group of us were saying this famous \”that\’s what she said\” back in the early 1960\’s. The only proof is that my oldest child who is now 37 laughs and says I remember you saying that when I was a little kid….Damn…wish I had documented. 🙂

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