Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Are you all Sizzle or Steak?

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 12800, ƒ/5.6, 1/1600

"All About That Bass"

Because you know I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass... bass... bass... bass

Megan Trainor's pop single "All About That Bass" made it to the top of the charts. Many women have felt they are not good enough for years because the only body types celebrated in our culture was that of a Barbie Doll.

Stanley's top five strengths after taking the Clifton StrengthFinder Test.
As you may know, the Clifton StrengthsFinder measures the presence of talent in 34 categories called "themes." These themes were determined by Gallup as those that most consistently predict outstanding performance. The greater the presence of a theme of talent within a person, the more likely that person is to spontaneously exhibit those talents in day-to-day behaviors.Focusing on naturally powerful talents helps people use them as the foundation of strengths and enjoy personal, academic, and career success through consistent, near-perfect performance.

Today we still celebrate certain traits in people. However, if everyone in the band only played the trumpet the type of music you would hear would be very limiting.

Fuji X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 3200, ƒ/4.2, 1/500
Here the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band take the field during half-time at the Chick-fil-A Bowl. It is the diversity of the instruments that brings the full musical experience to the audience.

Sizzle & Steak

Today in communications field we have two major parts to communication. I tend to talk about these as the Sizzle [Presentation] and Steak [Content]. 

In many songs we might think of this as the music and the words, but that might be stretching the metaphor a little. To make my point about two parts however this might be a great way to see them.

Often many people love a song so much because of how the music makes them feel. Often people mishear the lyrics.

Top 20 most common misheard lyrics:

1. REM - The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
Real lyric: ''Call me when you try to wake her
Misheard lyric: ''Calling Jamaica''

2. Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze
Real Lyric: ''Excuse me while I kiss the sky''
Misheard Lyric: ''Excuse me while I kiss this guy''

3. Aerosmith - Dude Looks Like A Lady 
Real Lyric: ''Dude looks like a lady''
Misheard Lyric: ''Do just like a lady''

4. The Foundations - Buttercup
Real Lyric: ''Build me up buttercup''
Misheard Lyric: ''Fill me up buttercup''

5. Adele - Chasing Pavements
Real lyric: ''Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing pavements''
Misheard lyric: ''Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing penguins''

6. Bon Jovi - Living On A Prayer
Real Lyric: ''It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not''
Misheard Lyric: ''It doesn't make a difference if we're naked or not''

7. ABBA - Dancing Queen
Real Lyric ''Dancing queen, Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah''
Misheard Lyrics: ''Dancing queen, Feel the beat from the tangerine, oh yeah''

8. John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John - One That I Want
Real Lyric: ''You're the one that I want''
Misheard Lyric: ''You're the wobbly one''

9. Nirvana- Smells Like Teen Spirit
Real Lyric: ''Here we are now, entertain us''
Misheard Lyric: ''Here we are now, in containers''

10. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Real lyric:  ''Spare him his life from this monstrosity''
Misheard lyric: ''Spare him his life for this one cup of tea''

11. Johnny Nash- I Can See Clearly Now
Real Lyric: ''I can see clearly now the rain has gone''
Misheard Lyric: ''I can see clearly now Lorraine has gone''

12. Madonna- Papa Don't Preach
Real Lyric: ''Papa don't preach''
Misheard Lyric: ''Poppadom Peach''

13. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Real Lyric - ''Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango''
Misheard lyric: ''Scallaboosh, Scallaboosh, will you to the banned tango''

14. Bee Gees- Stayin' Alive
Real Lyric: ''Stayin' alive, stayin' alive''
Misheard Lyric: ''Steak and a knife, steak and a knife''

15. Prodigy - Out of space
Real lyric: ''I'll take your brain to another dimension. Pay close attention''
Misheard lyric:  ''I'll take your brain to another dimension.  Hey close the kitchen''

16. ABBA - Dancing Queen
Real lyric: ''See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen''
Misheard lyric: ''See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen''

17. ABBA - Mamma Mia
Real lyric: ''How can I resist you''
Misheard lyric: ''Have I got a sister''

18. Take That - Babe
Real lyric: ''Babe''
Misheard lyric: ''Dave''

19. Blue Oyster Cult- Don't Fear The Reaper
Real Lyric: ''Seasons don't fear the reaper''
Misheard Lyric: ''Jesus don't fear the reaper''

20. Annie Lennox- There Must Be An Angel
Real Lyric: ''Must be talking to an angel''

Misheard Lyric: ''Must be talking to a ninja''

Many people fall in love with the music and mood that the song conveys and the words are not all the important to them. This is where the Sizzle is dominate in the song.

Now with the song "Cats In The Cradle" I believe it is the words that really connect with the audience as much as the music. Here the Steak is king.
The emphasis in Japanese business culture is on the ritual of gift-giving, rather than the gift itself. For this reason, you may receive a gift that seems too modest, or conversely, extravagant. Here the Sizzle is more important than the Steak.

What am I talking about

Too often we fall into the trap of thinking it is all about one or the other. We either overly emphasize the Sizzle or the Steak. 
Photographers may forget to include captions helping the message be understood or Designers may get carried away about the design and forget the message is suppose to be king.
Great communication is not one or the other it is when both the Sizzle and Steak are well executed together.
This is when the total package is actually stronger than the individual parts.
Many people who come over from the entertainment industry into corporate communications make the mistake of thinking that just because they like their song they got the message.
When the task is to communicate a message you cannot have the lyrics misheard and be successful.
REM - The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
Real lyric: ''Call me when you try to wake her
Misheard lyric: ''Calling Jamaica''
At the same time you cannot afford to create content that doesn't pull people in because the Sizzle is just not there.

Combining Sizzle & Steak

Start with always asking WHY? 
  • Why am I writing this press release?
  • Why am I creating this video?
  • Why am I taking this photo?
  • Why am I creating this poster?
Once you understand the purpose of what you are doing you need to also ask the second question.

Who is my AUDIENCE?

Is your audience toddlers that will more likely connect to Teletubbies than Metallica? How you package that content is your Sizzle. 

Test your MESSAGE

Too many communicators make the mistake of asking did you like it only? Show your product to some people in your audience demographic. Then ask them to tell you what they got from it.

If they articulate the message you were trying to get across–SUCCESS!!. If however they cannot tell you the message but they loved it, you have a case of Sizzle and no Steak.

If they got the message but weren't really giving you high marks for delivery, then you may have all Steak and no Sizzle.

If you were creating advertising your success will be measured as to if sales go up, down or stay the same. 

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