Respecting the unexpected

Posted by Jenna Gallagher on November 16, 2012 |

Do you know who Jeff Brucceleri is? Despite the fact that he works for a TV station that I am in frequent contact with, I didn’t. Not until last week.

That’s because Jeff is a traffic reporter. And traffic reporters rarely get much attention. Maybe the eye-in-the-sky guys did during the OJ chase, but that was a long time ago, and besides, I’m not even sure Jeff has a helicopter.

What Jeff does have, clearly, is a pretty good sense of humor. He’s the guy who ended his traffic report last week with this segment giving disgruntled voters directions to Canada (it’s around the 25 second mark). It wasn’t mean-spirited. It wasn’t even particularly partisan (plenty of Democrats had upsets in this election, too). But it did offer one of the few true reach-across-the-aisle LOL moments of the election season.

And it got Jeff a heap of press coverage. Probably more than any of his other traffic reports ever have. I even heard them talking aboot it on a Canadian radio broadcast. Personally, I think that of all the humorous moments of Election 2012, the one that I’m going to remember most is Jeff, just Jeff, giving his audience directions to Canada.

I happened to speak with a KOKI producer about something else this week and I congratulated her on the notoriety that her station had received. She laughed and said that Jeff totally didn’t expect all the attention it would get.

I’m not sure if that’s true, but if he did, all the better. After all, one should never underestimate the power of the unexpected.

The fact is, people respond best to things that surprise them a little bit or make them smile, as long as you stay true to your brand. Home Instead Senior Care, for example, regularly posts links across all their social media channels to Mary Maxwell, a 70-something comedienne who tackles aging issues with wit, irreverence, and candor. Not only is it a refreshing break from some of the more emotionally charged aspects of caregiving, but the vibrant, sharp Maxwell is the poster senior for the company’s mission of changing the face of aging.

It’s important to strike the right balance. A lighthearted Facebook post on the Friday before a holiday weekend is one thing. A week’s worth of cheesy cartoons can quickly dilute your credibility. And, as always, be judicious with what you post. Because not even a savvy viral navigator like Jeff Brucceleri can help you find your way back from something like this.




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