Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Ahoy Matey! Clean Pirates"If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings and speak my words."
- Cicero

I've previously cited this quote by Cicero as one that demonstrates the timelessness and universality of human nature. First uttered some 2,000 years ago, it is a quote that today is even more important for marketers and communicators to keep in mind as we think about what we're trying to accomplish.

And so today, as it is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, seems to be an appropriate time to reflect on the need of thinking, feeling, and yes, talking like those you're trying to influence.

Founded in 1995, the holiday was the brainchild of John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), two friends who were playing racquetball one day, when for reasons that aren't clear to either of them, they started insulting each other in pirate jargon. The website blossomed, followed by a more recent foray into Facebook, and here we are today.

And today there are a number of individuals and sites who like to play along. The first - one that's been happening since 2008 - is Facebook's ability to allow users to change their preferred language to English (Pirate).

If you haven't tried it, you can go to the Account dropdown and click on Account Settings. There you can make the change:

And what used to look like this:

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Will now look like this:
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Getting into the spirit
Aside from the functional changes on Facebook, I noticed some other brands enjoying the fun of the day and even leveraging some natural connections with their own brands.

The first one that struck me was this Promoted Tweet I saw when I clicked on the trending topic "International Talk Like a Pirate Day":

The link takes you to a little YouTube video from Arby's:

Okay, so it was perhaps a clumsy play on words - but it was cute and in the tongue-in-cheek style of humor that struck so many of our collective coworkers and online friends today.

With a more natural connection than most, the Disney Parks Blog had a field day with its entries today. In fact, there were no fewer than nine posts with the "Pirate Day" tag on the site. My favorite is a video tour by Cap'n Walt himself, giving a tour behind the scenes of a miniature model and early concepts of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride:

These are but a few examples of companies that have understood the importance of memes and adapted their own communications or even products to reflect those sensibilities. By thinking and speaking like our intended audience, we can connect with them on a deeper level.

Oh, and if you have the courage to do so, you can always translate this post into Pirate. Here be t' link.

Are there any other standout examples from Talk Like a Pirate Day that you can cite?

Image credit: Dots Treats Cupcakes (Flickr)