I can’t believe a comedian reminded me of a strategy to captivate audiences and turn casual viewers into devoted fans. I’ll admit it, thanks Jimmy Carr. Interestingly, we can look to stage presence for sage advice on creating attention-grabbing brand campaigns. The world’s top brands are already doing it. However, how can you take advantage with less money in the bank?

Recently, Jimmy Carr made an appearance on the The Pete and Sebastian Show. Jimmy talks about the difference between charm and charisma. Simply, charm is when you come to the audience creating a natural affinity. For example, he shares Barack Obama as a great representation of charm.

On the other hand, charisma is when you pull the audience towards you. In fact, it’s like your personality demands it. For instance, Jimmy volunteers that characters like Donald Trump exude this. Stepping outside of the political spectrum, he also shares that Jennifer Aniston is charming and Angelina Jolie is charismatic.

Two campaigns stand out in my mind as charming and impactful. First, Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” Campaign. Launched in 2015, the campaign was part of Apple’s strategy to promote the iPhone 6s. Apple had three major components to the rollout. In particular, they created a social media contest, leveraged influencer marketing, and tapped traditional ads (think: print, tv commercials, and in-store displays).

The charm comes from the authenticity and relatability of the content. Specifically, the brand highlights real people’s experiences. In turn, it makes Apple seem approachable and customer-focused. Unfortunately, a young brand or small business might not be able to afford the national ad costs. However, it’s possible to use similar tactics to create a version of charm around your product and brand.

Second, I think Airbnb’s Made Possible by Hosts campaign was charming and resourceful. I remember when I first caught a glimpse of it on the tv. Notably, I immediately loved the nostalgic feeling. Surprisingly, I could picture my friends and I sharing a house in Upstate New York or Joshua Tree. Both, experiences we’ve lived and laughed the entire time.

In contrast to Apple, these images were produced instead of created by the user. Fortunately, it doesn’t make a difference. It still feels charming, authentic and familiar. It’s an inviting story being told one frame at a time with a great soundtrack. Luckily, moments like these can be captured using customers and friends without spending a lot of cash.

What about charisma? Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign is a perfect example. Obviously, the ads are bold, confident, and humorous. Notably, the spots are punched up thanks to the selected actor, Isaiah Mustafa. Combining his charismatic delivery with a set of exaggerated scenarios is pure gold.

I want you to notice a significant difference between the personalities of these commercials and how they’re delivered. In general, with charm, you’ll often notice the subject is a passive participant. To clarify, Airbnb is showing you people enjoying their stays. They don’t speak or interact with the camera. Their experience is put on display and we get to imagine ourselves in their shoes.

Alternatively, charismatic ads are typically much bolder and in your face. You almost have to inject humor for them to work. It’s very much a look at me experience. Ripped muscles, quirky scenes, deliberate scripting all adds up to an ad that tells the audience to line up and watch. Hence, charisma is active and not passive like charm.

Implementing a charismatic campaign can be more difficult in the early stages of a business. Regardless, I think a great option is creating content and ads around founder journeys and startup missions. Founders getting in front of the lens being authentic about the challenge of building is powerful. Additionally, storytelling around a brand’s mission, vision, and values is another route to making content that’s impactful and bold.

Still not sure how you can tackle these approaches on a budget? Here’s a prime example of how Ruffin Mitchener helped the founders of Alinea get over 12 millions views on TikTok in one month. PS. Ruffin has a newsletter called Brydge Club sending female founder stories to your inbox weekly. If you want more support, make sure to sign up for my newsletter or get in touch.