Black licorice is one of those candies that you absolutely adore or desperately despise. A report by NBC News, even suggests that you may be born with or without a love for licorice. However, there are enough black licorice consumers for the FDA to issue a caution about eating too much of it.

On October 30, the FDA issued a dire, yet charming, warning about the dangers of eating an excessive amount of black licorice. This candy contains a substance known as glycyrrhizin, which can result in a decrease in potassium levels in your body. This may lead to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, swelling, and even heart failure.

With symptoms like that, you may be wondering what made me classify this announcement as “charming.” Those reasons are also tips brands can apply to future (not so exciting) announcements they hope to garner hype around.

Don’t be so Serious

You can’t get much more serious than a federal agency that regulates the safety of our food and medicine. And yet, the FDA decided to use light-hearted content to get their message across. They even end the video with, “FDA witches you a happy and safe Halloween.” Even the FDA realizes that it’s ok to have fun from time to time—especially on social media.

Even the FDA realizes that it’s ok to have fun from time to time—especially on social media.Click To Tweet

Most social media users are looking for humorous posts. According to Social Media Today, funny content gets shared more than the serious stuff. Jokes also trigger positive emotional responses, making the brand much more memorable and engaging. Brands who are too cautious and always play by the book will have a challenging time receiving attention from the everyday consumer.

Brands who are too cautious will have a challenging time receiving attention from consumers.Click To Tweet

Use Visuals

The warning towards black licorice came from the FDA in an animated video. While the animation isn’t Oscar-worthy, it still manages to get their educational message across. The playfully spooky, yet simple animation quickly grabs the viewer’s attention and keeps it throughout.

By relying mostly on animated text, the video is already suited to receive a higher viewing rate on social platforms. According to DIGIDAY, 85 percent of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Subtitles ensure that the message is still getting across even if the viewer decides not to “Click for Sound.”

Be Timely

While the FDA could have made the announcement earlier, they decided to wait specifically for Halloween. They used the candy-centric holiday as a hook to bring up the dangers of consuming an excessive amount of black licorice. And it grabbed people’s attention.

Since the video was posted, it has received over 70,000 views on YouTube and nearly 300 shares on their Facebook post. The video also caught the attention of numerous mainstream media outlets, including  Forbes, USA Today, NY Post, NBC News, CBS News, Fortune and many more.

The FDA won Halloween this year with an announcement about black licorice, because they were willing to release a light-hearted, visually appealing message at an appropriate time. By applying that to your next announcement, you too may have success in creating hype around a not so exciting announcement.