Lessons from a Video About an ATM that Knows Your Sex

This post is part of Rassak’s “YouTube Tuesdays Plus” featuring mini case studies of marketing videos (sometimes we look at other digital media too). New on Tuesdays. Don’t miss one, subscribe.

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There are three useful lessons from this  video about an ATM that knows your gender.

  1. Humor works… even for serious matters
  2. Accessibility matters
  3. Don’t just give people something to think about, give them something to do

According to the National Women’s Law Center, ‘The typical American woman who works full time, year round is paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to her male counterpart.” To promote “Equal Pay Day” a few months ago,  a Swiss organization Zürcher Frauenzentrale hooked up with a Swiss bank to build an ATM that somehow determined if the person taking out money was a guy, and if so, gave him 20% less than he asked for.

Humor Works … Even for Serious Matters

Google “wage disparity” and you will find loads of graphs and white papers and other important bits of media that not many people have seen. You’re not going to find something with 250,000 YouTube views. Creativity makes a huge difference when trying to get the word out. Do you think your topic is too serious to use humor or other creative tactics to describe: perhaps your topic is enterprise software or a chemical component or a medical device or … you name it. Can it be more serious than income wage disparity?  Lighten up… it will help your cause.

Accessibility Matters

This video was originally in German. Actually it might even be in Schweizerdeutsch and therefore a little, shall we say, inaccessible to most people. Whoever had the idea to translate this into English was smart. 350M English speakers globally vs. ~4.5M Schweizerdeutsch speakers. How inaccessible is what you’re talking about in your marketing? Odds are it might actually be less accessible than even Schweizerdeutsch. Do you use a lot of jargon and acronyms? Do you assume people understand you when perhaps they don’t?

Don’t Just Give People Something to Think About, Give Them Something to Do

This video makes you think. For sure. And that’s better than nothing. But we all move so fast these days and there is so much information flying at us at the speed of light (or the speed of Twitter which is actually faster) that if you don’t get people to act in the moment you are at a disadvantage. Enter the so-called “call to action” a favorite marketing term which simply is something for people to do to further the cause of the entity doing the communicating. This video has a couple of solid ones. There’s a YouTube button that hovers above the video that invites people to visit the website of the International Women’s Media Foundation. Apparently they’re the ones who translated the video into English, this was probably their “payment” for that service. There’s another interesting call to action. You won’t see it here embedded in the video, but if you watch at YouTube itself there’s a little button for donating via the YouTube NonProfit Program.

Now… I am going to take a word of my own advice and add a call to action to this blogpost:  please share it. There are some social media buttons up top to make it easy for you. :- )


On the subject of accessibility, here’s a post about assuming your audience understands you when they might not.

And on the subject of humor and serious topics, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commision (a rather austere body) has a very funny ad campaign running right now about the San Francisco sewer system :- )


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