2 brand communication secrets in “Baby Goat Plays With Huge Pig”

“Baby goat plays with huge pig!!!” is just about the cutest video on YouTube now.

But there’s something in the video that’s not immediately apparent. It’s what makes the video funny. And in it lies the key to how every growing brand should communicate. Take a look:

At first, you can’t keep your eyes off the baby goat. He can’t stay on the pig. He keeps sliding off. But he just won’t give up! His determination is adoooorable!

At some point – and it was different for everyone I watched it with — the video goes from adorable to funny. And what makes it funny is not really the baby goat. It’s the huge, napping pig.

At that moment, you realize that the pig knows the baby goat is jumping on her back and yet she’s just lying there letting him prance around on her back.

The baby goat grabs your attention! But then you discover the pig who’s being so lovingly (my Disney interpretation) tolerant. And that’s when it becomes funny — it wouldn’t be nearly as funny if the baby goat were jumping on a rock — and I believe that’s when you really connect with the video and appreciate it on a level beyond ‘cute baby goat’.

So, here’s where I turn the bus: Every smart, growing brand needs to communicate both like the baby goat AND the mama pig. And they need to happen at the same time.

Baby Goat communications are brand communications that consistently surprise and delight the people a brand wants to engage. They pop. They’re daring, or provocative, or funny. They grab peoples’ attention and pull them in.

Every Superbowl commercial is an attempt to be a baby goat.

In Europe, Carlsberg’s ingenious stunts are great baby goats.

So are new products, PR spectacles, celebrity placement, and special deals. It’s why people flock to McDonald’s for a limited time $1 ice tea and why they didn’t flock to jcpenney for everyday low prices. Everyday low prices are not baby goats. They’re boring.

But every brand also has to be a mama pig in the way it communicates, enabling people to discover it as well.

Intel’s Creators Project (with Vice) is a mama pig. A key goal of the Project is to help Intel gain credibility as a creative, forward-thinking company. This transformation will take time. And the company is committed to the journey. (At this year’s Brite Conference, Intel Creative Director David Haroldsen talks about their philosophy and approach.)

The challenge many growing brands have is they only think ‘baby goats’. They focus on the immediate. On the next event, or the next product launch.

But a brand that grows with ambition and purpose keeps the baby goats jumping and never lose sight of the importance of developing and sharing its narrative over time (Red Bull has been brilliant at this).

So ask yourself, how is your brand communicating both as a baby goat and a mama pig?

1) What is your strategy (and calendar) for consistently grabbing the attention of the people you want to reach?

2) And, what is your strategy for building a brand narrative over time that will create a deeper connection?

Drive sales and give people a compelling reason to connect with and invest in your brand as it grows!

What’s better than that? Not even a baby goat jumping on a huge pig!!!

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