There are some things in life we just don’t want to think about. The sudden stop at the end — more commonly referred to as death — usually tops the list. There’s no bigger downer at a family celebration than relatives announcing that they have signed the ultimate 30-year mortgage and purchased burial plots.
“We don’t want to be a burden. We picked out two lovely spots under a shade tree. Can you please pass the salt? Thanks. Oh and happy birthday!”
Always a good time! And why does everyone want to be buried under a shade tree? Just toss me in a ravine. I’m dead. I don’t care. Better yet, feed me to a passing zombie. It’s eco friendly and very circle of life.
But let’s turn this situation around. What about the cemetery? You need customers who are looking to buy now, and die later. How do you advertise to these people? The most obvious strategy is the burden argument, but you’re still asking people to have an uncomfortable conversation at your place of business which — let’s face it — isn’t exactly Chuck E. Cheese.
Enter Saint Michael Orthodox Christian Cemetery. I did a double take when I saw these ads because it wasn’t just a cemetery using humor, it was a Christian Orthodox cemetery using humor. (Which is not to say the Christian Orthodox faith doesn’t have a sense of humor. It’s just that most churches don’t joke around when it comes to death.)
The humor in these ads isn’t over the top. St Michael’s is making a small joke that invites nervous laughter. Yes, it’s an awkward conversation. We both recognize that. We had a chuckle about it. Now we can get on with it. Most businesses recognize the importance of taking care of customers as soon as they walk in the door. Saint Michael is making it a bit more comfortable to walk in the door in the first place, and if your business is a cemetery, that’s a very big deal.