Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How are cartoons good for business?

Around 2002, I compiled a list whose title was the same as this post’s. At times, I would e-mail that list to select businesses with the hope of convincing them to do something they almost certainly had not considered before. Without further achoo…

Here are 10 reasons cartoons are good for business. Each will take you 3 seconds to read—same as a cartoon.

  1. Cartoons are effective: "The magazine cartoon is probably the most popular of the graphic arts; media surveys invariably place cartoons among readers' first preferences." – Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines, 10th Ed., p. 308
  2. Cartoons are versatile: Business magazines around the world (including Wall Street Journal, Barron's, and Forbes), PowerPoint presenters, newsletter editors, web content builders, print advertisers, custom publishers, and direct mailers regularly use them to reinforce serious points.
  3. Cartoons are fresh: True, companies including Barnes & Noble, Canon, Absolut, DuPont, L.L.Bean, Palm, Altoids, Cinemax, MINI, and hundreds of others have used them in training or mainstream advertising. But too many more haven't.
  4. Cartoons are inexpensive: Wish they weren't.
  5. Cartoons are easy: No committees, R & D, warehousing, technical support, or previous experience needed. Just talk to a guy with a pencil and a pad.
  6. Cartoons are unifying: Can you think of any cubicles that don't have at least one cartoon taped up? Laughter is a universal language. People bond over what they mutually enjoy. That improves the mood. If you smile at any of the cartoons here, wouldn't your employees and/or clients?
  7. Cartoons are sneaky: You can't poke fun of your bosses, colleagues, or customers to their faces. You can get away with it in cartoons.
  8. Cartoons are word of mouth: "It has been such a pleasure working with you. Our team really got a kick out of all your wonderful cartoons. [The calendars featuring them] are a huge hit. We [printed] 500 for [one department]. Suddenly, we have reps from all over the company wanting them for their departments. Your cartoons are creating quite a stir here in Kohler.”
  9. Cartoons are healthy: "Laughter can boost the immune system, reduce stress, and lift energy" (Real Simple 4/02). Who wouldn't want employees and/or clients with less stress and more energy?
  10. Cartoons are profitable: When my cartoons began appearing on, site producer Ronnie Smith said, “’We got so many click-throughs that my CEO totally loved it!’ In fact, the first month's cartoon pulled the second highest click-through rate of all of that week's articles. Then, the following month's cartoon shot to the number one spot. Smith [added] a link next to other articles: ‘If you need a good laugh, click here.’ And as it turns out, that's exactly what many businesspeople do need these days.” – B2B Marketing Biz

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