I’m old enough to remember when you went to the movies, bought your ticket, got a bag of popcorn and sat down. You sat through a few previews. Then it was time for the main attraction.
You watched the film and when it ended, you threw your garbage on the floor (just like that picnic scene in Madmen) and left.
Times have changed. Now, before the feature presentation, you’re subjected to previews, promotions, quizzes about current films, and interview with leading actors.
Then there are commercials. And when all the ads and the promos finally end, you’re given a lesson about the rules and regulations for watching a movie:
- No cellphones
- No texting
- No talking
Just when you’re about say ‘Oh for heaven’s sake, I know all that. I’ve been to a movie before. Just show me the feature’, the No-list take an unexpected turn:
- No personal grooming
- No taxidermy
And you burst out laughing.
Humour is always a good tool for communicators, whether it’s in a speech or slide presentation or the ads before a movie. Unexpected humour is the best. The speaker or the advertisement leads us on and then abruptly change direction, delighting us and making us laugh. This is an especially good technique when you’re telling people about rules and regulations.
Make them laugh. Maybe they’ll even take the garbage out with them.