19 August 2009

United Breaks Guitars - Less is More

goldfish in glass
All parents know this. In fact, all adults know this scenario.

Your toddler does something or says something really funny that cracks everybody up. Then they go on repeating it, or variations of it, in the hope they can get the same response again.

Subtlety is just something that comes with experience.

But even adults don't fully understand the importance of subtlety and freshness. A joke is NEVER as funny the second time round.

Two of the most significant ideas I try to get podcast clients to take on board is 'freshness' and 'less is more'.

  • Never talk through an interview before recording it or doing it live, it is never as fresh and 'real' the second time round.

  • And always try to keep the length of your clip/programme/show to half of what you thought it might be.

(A real lesson for many podcasters these days, who simply don't know when to shut up. I listen in astonishment to many of the best podcasters - FIR, TWIT, The Instance, etc - and wonder how on earth they would get on in a professional radio station with a programme controller breathing down their necks! Some -TWIT & The Instance in particular - have become so self-indulgent they ramble on, completely off-topic, for anything up to 2 hrs. No speech-only programme should last more than 40 mins. If you have more to say, make more programmes.)

Anyway.... I digress....rant over. (See! they've got me doing it now!)

Here comes the point>>>>

When Dave Carroll revealed United Breaks Guitars was just the first of three songs about his unfortunate tarmac incident, I thought he was making a big mistake. Yesterday's release of Song No2 confirmed my opinion.

The first was brilliant, funny, and a masterclass in wrong-footing a huge corporation with leaden customer services.

The second does him no favours.

I suspect that if and when a third song is finally released, quite a few of us will want to break his guitar.

Always leave the stage on a high, with the audience wanting more. You should know that, Dave!

2 comments:

Caitlin (Roaming Tales) said...

I did hear that the third one might be in collaboration with United. I'm not sure if that's good or bad...

I agree the second one is not as good as the first but he always said he was going to do three. It's not his fault that the first one was so big.

onliner said...

Hi Caitlin,

Yeah, the third one was always planned, and I heard about the collaboration with United but nothing I've seen from United makes me think that's gonna happen. They've only acknowledged that he's offered/suggested it. My hope is, that if he hasn't invested too much work in the third song already, he'll just drop it.