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SOMETIMES LESS ACTUALLY CAN BE MORE

I’m not fond of cliches, and I don’t believe that “less” always “is more.” But in my files I found a couple of really nice promos Chris Ward created a while ago for Severn Sound. As good as they are, I think they would have been even better with a single line omitted from the finished product.

Here’s one of them:

What line do I think is unnecessary? “Sing it, guys.”

With Chris’s permission — he’s now the station producer at Real Radio Wales — here’s my edited version:

What do you think? Was it stronger without “sing it guys”? Even more tellingly, was it weaker without that line? If removing any element of a spot doesn’t weaken the spot, that element shouldn’t be there.

Chris says, “Having listened back to the promos, I do agree with your analysis. The line ‘sing it guys’ wasn’t necessary, it dilutes promo and, to be brutally honest it makes it slightly ‘cheesy.’ I remember at the time being a big fan of using the ‘stop down effect’ in promos, but it wasn’t necessary in this instance and seems to have been used for the sake of being used rather than to enhance the promo.

“The promos were produced in a very short space of time and put straight to air. Whenever I produce something I like to script and produce it, leave it for a few days and then come back to it. In this instance, however, that wasn’t possible. I think had I done this I would have not included the ‘sing it, guys’ line.”

Here’s another “A/B” example for you:

The edited version:

Despite my opinion that it’s better without “sing it, guys,” the promo is strong enough to be effective with or without it.

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  • Adam G February 26, 2009, 1:37 am

    Guy told me once ,”hey don’t talk to the music that you are playing Like don’t tell Elvis, “Play it Elvis” , or “Thanks Elvis.”

  • Anonymous February 26, 2009, 3:48 am

    I offer this exchange from “Pirates of the Caribbean”:

    Elizabeth: “Captain Barbossa , I am here to negotiate the cessation of hostilities against Port Royal.”

    Barbossa: “There are a lot of long words in there, Miss; we’re naught but humble pirates. What is it that you want?”

    Elizabeth: “I want you to leave and never come back.”

    Barbossa: “I’m disinclined to acquiesce to your request. Means no.”

    Keep is simple and effective. The audience appreciates it.

  • Rod February 26, 2009, 11:52 am

    The “Sing it, guys!” line is at best an unnecessary buffer between the announcer’s statement and the choir’s demonstration, at worst a momentary distraction. The spot is punchier without the line. Good call!