Serious Thoughts from the Font of Funny: How ‘The Onion’ Humor Publisher Manages the Multi-Screen World

Serious Thoughts from the Font of Funny How ‘The Onion’ Humor Publisher Manages the Multi-Screen WorldIf you know The Onion, you know its satires, spoofs, and irreverent brand of humor is just what the doctor orders these days.

But how does it handle the new video-happy, multi-screen environment? That’s serious business, even from an operation that started in 1988 as a funny paper on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Mike McAvoy, the president and COO of The Onion, recently was interviewed by eMarketer’s Sean Creamer.

Firstly, Creamer asks about The Onion’s view of best practices for digital video advertising.

“Video now lives everywhere and that includes on social,” said McAvoy. “As a publisher, it’s important to acknowledge the existence of our social audience and its ability to give us ‘volume.’ Across video-driven campaigns, whether it’s in a native player or linking towards our own, it is important to distribute that content equally across social platforms where our following is strong.”

When it comes to branded video advertising, McAvoy’s message is “keep it simple.”

“When we create branded video content, we always try to keep messaging as simple as possible,” he explained. “Branded content needs to pay off a brand’s essence, but it’s rare that a great video is going to tell a product story with a clear emotional benefit or product attributes. When we look back at our most successful, which is to say ‘funny’ executions, we’ve been able to strike a balance between a client’s objectives and the voice and tone of our editorial.”

There are more nuggets in this interview — dig them out here.