Authenticity is growing as a guideline on business websites, but it’s getting rarer on TV these days.
I recently went to a taping of Chelsea Lately, the rude, shallow but amusing gossip/talk show on the E network. I expected that an under-employed comedian would be warming up the small studio audience prior to the taping – what I didn’t expect was that it would be an obnoxious Laugh-Nazi. First, he began berating us for not laughing at his jokes, explaining that we needed to laugh out loud, not just smile, during the actual show.
He scolded us repeatedly. It was “because Chelsea needs it” (and we owe her, since she’s the number one rated show on E), then later in the lecture, he said it was because it was our job and important to the show. Wow. Okay, we were willing to play along; they were blasting music to get us clapping and revved up. But the brainwashing didn’t stop there.
During the show, the Laugh-Nazi moved around to different sections of the little bleachers and “orchestrated” the laugh-mandate. Making faces. Waving his arms. It was obvious we were a tool…it saves them the cost of adding a laugh track in editing. Unpaid helpers, but hey, the tickets were free.
The guest didn’t show up that night, or there wasn’t one, so we only saw 20 minutes of the show being taped, after waiting outside for an hour and a half. We walked away feeling used.
Authenticity takes another hit. You shouldn’t tell people to laugh. It’s real phony. In BtoB communications, you shouldn’t tell people that they should care. Either they do or they don’t. And avoid informing a business person that they “have to” or “must (embrace your technology)” in order to be competitive. Very presumptuous.
And most of all, as a business marketer, don’t take yourself too seriously. Pompous is out. Or in Chelsea’s case, don’t demand to be taken so humorously.
But sincerely folks, have a very-amusing 4th of July weekend!!