Vive La Funny

25 September 2013

Finally we’ve managed to get around to sharing the joke with our European neighbours. This week sees the launch of our world-beating Information Security Awareness Comedy Series in the following Languages*:
French, Spanish, Italian, German & Dutch
And although every culture has it’s own sense of humour, as long as you stick to some basic comedy rules, you will still get a better response than a dictatorial memo created by your legal team…
There will be enough to process for those people for whom English is a second language. Lets not make them have to understand a new universe where there is no gravity, people reproduce using bio-chemical hats, and there’s a different shaped gearstick on the Ford Mondeo.  Our films are set in an ordinary office, looking just like offices the world over.
Vivid, Diverse. Believable.
We have old and young, ethnically diverse characters and an even split between men and women. And whilst we hate the idea that we have to fake some kind of “United Colours of Benneton” type of world, we realise that in most corporate cultures there is  sensitivity to this issue, and we respect that. We try to cast great actors too. Just sayin’…
The messages are inherent to the plot – that is to say we don’t simply bolt on a joke at the end of a boring show and tell scenario. When you laugh at these sketches, you are emotionally responding to the behaviors we are trying to change or encourage. This creates memories linked to behaviour.
We try to make the scenes light-hearted and not too wordy. So the scenes can travel more effectively. Remember that “Friends” sold into over 100 countries and it was probably the interplay between those vivid characters, not necessarily the dialogue, that was the reason it succeeded across borders.
The Acid Test
We are proud of the fact that if you play any of the scenes we’ve created, with the “mute” button on, you would still understand the basics of what was going on. That was our goal. To create scenarios that were genuinely entertaining, and that were easily assimilated by anyone. 
We have a handy guide we wrote to help people feel confident about using comedy as part of a global communications strategy. Email Jess if you’d like one.

*We will be releasing other languages such as Russian, Arabic, Mandarin and more – watch this space. If you have a requirement for a language not seen in this blog post, contact Jess for more information. Season II of Restricted Intelligence is slated to be released in Feb 2014. Stay Tuned!

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