Technology has changed the meaning of many words over time. When we picture a Tablet, we no longer think of the great stone slabs that the ten commandments were written on, for example. Trolls aren’t multi-coloured dolls with frizzy hair, but rather angry people on the internet. But technology has also given us its share of words — and few are funnier than the word dongle.

The etymology of “dongle” is actually largely unknown. The Atlantic posited 7 theories ranging from adaptations of poetry to, literally, someone making it up. Regardless of its origins, the word is a common part of our tech lexicon. It’s also very funny if, like myself, you are blessed with the sense of humor of a small child. Say it aloud. Dongle. Accentuate the ‘o’. Doooongle.

It’s a funny word.

But, as Zoom would like to point out, it’s also a word that is slowly being forced out of our lexicon by wireless products usurping the need for dongles. Dongles, at their core, connect two pieces of technology together. Wireless is changing that. And Zoom contacted the hilarious Tripp and Tyler to point this out:

Why I Love This Video

To me, this video is a work of art. I’m always a big fan of companies that can cram as much tastefully presented innuendo into one video as possible, and Tripp and Tyler hit a homerun. To me, the real star of this video is the poor guy at home on a conference call, trying to understand what’s going on, and why everyone keeps talking about their dongles. The confusion-to-disgust pathway on his face before he quietly hangs up the phone is perfectly executed.

Tripp and Tyler have a long history of parodying office culture, especially remote working, as their more popular viral video A Conference Call in Real Life shows:

This video currently has just under 14 million views, and I know I’ve personally seen it five or six times.

Know Your Audience – And Who They Laugh At

For many people who work in offices, the dreaded “do I have the right connection to make this projector work” issue comes up almost daily. Doubly so if you tend to speak at a lot of conferences, or travel often. Projectors always seem to require the connection you didn’t remember to pack, and I can speak from my own experience that many a frantic trip to the nearest Staples or Apple store has been made mere hours before a big talk to a packed house. It’s no fun, and Zoom is working to solve that by making connecting to TVs and projectors easier.

But how do you get this point across in an industry crowded with solutions to everyday office woes? Look at who your audience is already laughing at. Tripp and Tyler have a loyal following among office grunts like myself. The Conference Call video is basically an accurate representation of 20% of my week, and their other videos, like Email in Real Life (a clever advertisement for Workfront) are all spot-on office jokes that are easy to relate to. For Zoom to get their point across, partnering with Tripp and Tyler was an easy win. Take recognizable faces that produce a very specific type of humor for a very specific audience, and get them to use that humor to talk about your pain point.

The dongle jokes are hilarious, but the underlying joke in the video is simple — people hate trying to find the right connector to connect to every device in their life, and for presentations, Zoom makes that easy. Simple, effective, and no dongle needed.

Earlier this month, our own Katie Nielson confessed to a deep love of Key & Peele – any internet comedians that keep you coming back for more? Tell us in the comments!

Jon Spenceley