A study conducted by Karen O’Quinn and Joel Aronoff demonstrated,
yet again, the potential power of a little humor to help persuade
people. In the study, participants had to negotiate with a seller
over the purchase price of a painting. The seller made a final
sales offer in one of two ways: half the time the seller said
he’d accept $6,000, the other half of the time he gave the same
final offer, but this time he added a little humor by offering to
throw in his pet frog. The impact of a little humor had a huge
effect. Regardless of gender and regardless of the degree to which
the seller’s final price was above the amount originally offered,
would be buyers made a much greater compromise when offered the pet
frog. So, either everyone in the study had a 10 year-old boy at
home, or, as the study authors suggest, the humorous aside helped
relax the buyers and put them in a more generous frame of mind.
Mike’s Fun at Work Tip
Look for fun opportunities to cheer on your local sports’ teams.
The Boston Pizza restaurant chain has temporarily rebranded its
62 B.C. restaurants as Vancouver Pizza to support the Vancouver
Canucks hockey team in their run for the Stanley Cup. The idea
was conceived more than a year ago when the marketing folks at
Boston Pizza realized that it might be a possibility for Boston
to face off against Vancouver. It’s a simple, fun and inexpensive
idea that will likely generate enormous publicity for the pizza
chain. So look for creative, fun ways to tie into events, including
your local home town minor league sporting events!
Quote of the Week
“Businesses have a misguided sense that work and play are opposites. If you can make the work intellectually challenging and you have a worthwhile goal in mind, it’s very much like play.” Tom Kelly, Cofounder IDEO Design
It’s a Wacky World
If you were thinking of getting a cat, here’s an alternative to
consider: the Japanese company Neurowear has created a headband
with cat ears that move and wiggle like real cat ears in response
to your emotional state by reading your brainwaves. What next?
Catnip for humans? (Oh wait, I guess we already have that!)
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011 www.humoratwork.com
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