Posted February 5, 2011 8:31 am by with 4 comments

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When you own your own business things are bound to go wrong, every now and then. When your business is on the internet, sometimes these mishaps can be a public event. Wouldn’t it be smart to try and at least pull off these types of blunders with a smile that leaves everyone laughing instead of yelling?

Here are three short examples of how some companies are leaving their users with a smile instead of a frown.

Hilarious Unsubscribe Pages

Groupon Unsubscribe If you have ever unsubscribed from a Groupon email list you are probably already familiar with this stroke of genius. Here, when a user selects to unsubscribe from a Groupon mailing they are sent to a confirmation page that introduces them them to some guy named “Derrick”. Apparently, Derrick, is the one responsible for sending you an annoying email. There is a button below Derrick’s video feed that says, “Punish Derrick”. After pressing it, hilarity ensues! I don’t want to ruin the fun so go ahead and try it yourself! This type of unsubscribe page is not only genius because it puts a smile on an angry face, but also because its so creative that it has dissatisfied customers still talking about your brand in a positive light! That is nothing short of magic in my book!

Creative 404 Pages

HomeStar Runner 404 Page 404 pages are the black sheep of the internet. No one wants to see them. Seeing a 404 is like hitting a brick wall. But some companies are getting really creative with their 404 pages. Take for example one of my favorite animated web series, Homestar Runner, has a 404 page that is comedic and blends in well with the rest of their site. Which means that even though the user doesn’t get the content they are looking for they still get a chuckle!

HTML full of LOLs!

The Oatmeal Funny HTML Everyone already knows that The Oatmeal is no stranger to laughs. But, did you know that his zany sense of humor even extends into his HTML? Don’t believe me? Go ahead and visit his site, right click and select View Source. Now there is no telling why Mr. Oatmeal decided to grace his <head> tags with a Pterodactyl. But as a web developer I can appreciate an entrepreneur that tries to make even their code monkeys happy! Because happy code monkeys, means happy code, and happy code, means happy web sites, and happy web sites, mean happy users!
  • Awesome stuff! I have some funny stuff in my HTML, but it is definitely NSFW. I am contemplating how I can tweak my 404, but this example is excellent!

  • Sally

    Has anyone ever tried buying anything off ? Does it work even if your not in the same city?

  • Genius. Humor is the best medicine.

  • Joe – Can you tell the future?

    I think that Groupon unsubscribe page got a real workout after their Super Bowl ad!