Who Is The Funniest Brand On The B&T’s Zavy Scoreboard?

Who Is The Funniest Brand On The B&T’s Zavy Scoreboard?

Snarky burger brands, meme-loving restaurants, even cheeky jokes from the Australian Federal Police– over the last decade, social media has given brands a space to develop real humour and personality.

The casual, personal nature of social platforms, along with the ability to post and respond immediately, gives brands the chance to shine and make authentic connections with customers. It’s a great opportunity to build your brand on social media, and here at Zavy, we see that brands that make people laugh have high engagement and positive sentiment on social media. Of course, it can also be risky – get the tone wrong or make an awkward joke, and the internet will come down hard on your brand.

Here’s why establishing an authentic tone is so important – and how to get it right:

International brands and tongue-in-cheek content

Internationally, plenty of brands manage to create an authentic and hilarious tone without (many) missteps. Chain restaurant Denny’s is big on food puns. Burger chain Wendy’s has built an online reputation based on teasing competitors and customers alike. Netflix has a smart, witty twitter presence filled with slang – and laser-focused on their content.

Although a casual, colloquial tone isn’t going to work for every brand, it can be a way to make personal connections with your customers. Social media is a place for friends and family, so if you come in with a dry, corporate voice, it won’t quite fit.

But many brands based in Australia and New Zealand tend to play it safe when it comes to their online presence, with most sticking to earnest, straightforward messaging and emotional connection rather than humour.

Which is a missed opportunity – humour is a major cultural currency in this part of the world. If you can get a funny, irreverent tone right in New Zealand or Australia, where fewer brands are using casual language and humour, there’s a real opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

VB: The funniest brand in Australia

Beer brands have always been able to push the envelope and speak directly to customers – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook just make it easier. VB strikes a very Aussie tone, cheeky and silly, with a stream of up-to-the-minute posts about sports and other events. They poke fun at Australian culture, their customers and themselves, but keep it light.

The brand’s strategy centres on sharing posts from their followers as they enjoy VB in weird and wonderful ways. It celebrates VB drinkers’ ingenuity and sense of humour – fostering healthy competition and creativity amongst fans, as they set about creating content that will get attention and make it to VB’s social media channels. After her post made it to the main page, one fan wrote: “Hey thanks for finally noticing me ya legends, I also made this, feel like doing a collab? @ me Love u xx”.

But does it work?

Yes! VB are a mainstay on Zavy’s B&T Social Scoreboard, and they earned the top post of the past twelve months – as represented by the giant green bubble in the graph below. The post, a video of people using boxes of VB as weights at the gym, earned over 30,000 shares and 36,000 likes.

On a category level, our data shows that VB tends to have higher Zavy scores than other beer brands overall – it’s the green line in the graph below, which shows the scores of brands in VB’s category over the past six months.

Thinking about being funnier on social media? Here are our dos and don’ts:


– Be consistent: Once you’ve nailed down a strong voice for the brand, don’t just use it on social. Customer emails, your website, your social bios, and everything else should fit your tone. If you’re posting serious content between jokes on social channels, use the same casual, colloquial language throughout. VB is funny on social, yes, but this personality extends across all touch points – even merch.

– Keep it current: Social media moves incredibly quickly, so if you’re making a topical joke do it fast – or it’s not exactly topical.

– Post frequently: Brands that succeed in social spaces are those that are always online. One social post a week isn’t enough to connect with customers – you need to be sharing, posting, and replying to comments and direct messages as often as possible.

– Pick the right platforms: Find out where your target audiences spend their time and communicate there – whether it’s older people on Facebook, under-30s on Insta, or almost everyone on Twitter. 

– Take calculated risks: Being funny and current can sometimes mean losing followers and offending people. Sometimes it’s unintentional, sometimes it’s a calculated risk – for example, brands that choose to stand up for important CSR issues they care about may lose some potential customers, but decide that it’s a worthwhile trade-off for the brand.


– Punch down: Roasting or gently teasing other brands can be funny, but targeting individuals is far riskier – you’re in danger of looking like a bully. If you’re not sure, don’t post.

– Post without context: If you’re trying to chime in on a social trend, make sure you understand it first. In the states, DiGiorno Pizza found this out the hard way when they used the hashtag #whyIstayed to make a joke about pizza. Unfortunately for them, the tag was related to domestic violence, and the tweet did not go down well.

– Overdo the slang: If it’s not a natural fit, slang can be cringey – think brands using ‘On fleek’ ad nauseum in 2018. Rather than piling on the slang terms, stick to casual, colloquial language – or get your local 13-year-old to read before you post.

– Forget visuals: Voice isn’t just about words – if you use visual elements in your social media posts, they need to be consistent and fit with your brand personality as well.

Want to see if your brand voice is coming across on social media? Zavy’s brand analytics give you insight into how people react to your posts online, so you can make changes – or take your hilarious jokes even further. Sign up for your own Zavy scoreboard here.

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