How to Battle the Cringe in your Communications
One common mistake communicators make is in their overuse of the ‘earnest’ in content. This often comes across as that ‘this is cheesy’ feeling we all know so well when watching a piece of video or reading a story.
My 15-year-old son has a better term for it. He calls them ‘Cringe’ videos. Consisting largely of people being overly earnest and generally just trying too hard, a Cringe video is recognizable by its ability to make the viewer feel uncomfortable.
While in some cases making your viewers squirm can be a good thing, most clients we’ve worked with are aiming to inform and educate rather than shock and awe. If you’re looking to get your message across in 3 minutes or less it’s probably best not to make your audience wish they’d never looked.
What exactly is it about a piece of media that causes this feeling? And how does it cross the line from being authentic to overly earnest?
We spend a lot of time thinking about this type of thing at Double Barrel, because ultimately we want to produce the most effective video we can for your organization. In that spirit we’ve put together a list to take into your next video production process. Voila!
HOW TO CUT the CHEESE in your communications
~ Roz Allen is a Producer & Director at Double Barrel Studios
Projects begin in all kinds of interesting ways. Our latest, a commercial PSA & website for Hamilton organization ‘Tastebuds’ evolved out of a conversation Double Barrel partners Roz Allen & Lee Hillman had with board director Deirdre Pike.
‘We were just chatting over lunch – and it came up that Deirdre was a part of this great Hamilton organization that feeds 23,000 kids a day,’ says Roz. ‘She mentioned the snack carts that they used and I realized – my son eats off that cart every day. In this really six-degrees-of-separation way – Deirdre’s organization was helping me.’
From there the team at Double Barrel worked alongside what was then known as ‘Hamilton Partners in Nutrition’ – connecting them with Hamilton branding powerhouse Kitestring and creating the commercial PSA based on the new branding ‘Tastebuds.’ Dale Mugford of BraveNewCode helmed the redesign and revamp of the website.
‘We saw the site that currently existed and knew they needed more than a video,’ says Hillman. ‘We didn’t want to just create a video based on what they had – we wanted to help them really reface, come up with a fresh look & feel that would make it clear to Hamiltonians – this is an amazing organization doing great work.’
Written by & starring Canadian comedienne Diana Frances & co-starring Hamilton actress Molly Turcotte – the team at Double Barrel couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
“This is proof that you don’t need a long documentary to get your message across,” says Allen, concluding “a little humour goes a long way.”