I am a London-based Digital PR/Social Media/SEO Consultant, music producer/anorak, deep sea diver, avid cyclist, worldwide traveller and football-loving technology bod! This page functions as a kind of online scrapbook/resource featuring my favourite blog posts and news items as well as my own personal reviews and recommendations in the worlds of music, sport, travel and technology!

Monday, 3 May 2010

what brands can learn from improv comedy

what brands can learn from improv comedy: "

I gave a talk/class in Madrid on Friday. Thanks to Luis for inviting me (he’s pictured below looking confused at the lunch that’s arriving for us)

One of the things I talked about was brands finding the right balance between producing polished things vs letting customers shape/influence them. I showed this clip from Whose Line Is It Anyway as a lesson in doing things right:

Here’s what I think it teaches us:

1. Open endings can be exciting

We love the idea that this could go anywhere and we’re along for the ride. Yes, all that juicy ‘beta’ stuff.

2. Audiences love to feel a part of things

The two women from the audience are absolutely loving this; more so than anyone else in the building. And co-creation is an important brand/comms consideration.

3. But you can’t ask much of them

If the women had been given any more control, it could have been disastrous. It was just the right level of involvement, simply asking them to make noises.

4. You need pros to keep things awesome

Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie are the experts. It’s their job to turn any eventuality into comedy. Without this expertise it could go horribly wrong.

5. Mortal-proof formats help to control things

Although the story was undefined, the framework is tight. The scene is a set duration. The two women are only able to do one thing; make sfx. Sfx were chosen because they can’t go wrong (bad sfx simply open up amusing new narratives). As long as the two comedians perform, the thing will work.

I plan to share some more of what I spoke about too, but I need to make some tweaks. You might even see some Slideshare action. Oh yeah.


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