September 2nd, 2011
If you have a powerful brand, you can afford to make a video without sex, emotion and only the driest and most sparse allowance of humor.
HOW TO MAKE A NY TIMES VIDEO. Watch the videos on blogs of the NY Times and you’ll see a very specific style that has been crafted to capture the staid voice of the esteemed newspaper. You won’t find anything from below the belt, only the driest of humor, and pretty much of a taboo on reaching for heartstrings. Such is the recipe for keeping things classy and dignified. But also, sometimes not that exciting.
THE ONE ORGAN THEORY
The once proud and mighty NY Times (which of course I still swear by) was forced a few years ago to enter the blogosphere to stay alive. Then to give a little juice to their blogs, they began producing videos. Which are great. Don’t get me wrong. But if you look at the style of the videos… well, it’s kinda funny. And also kinda telling.
Andy Revkin periodically has their sort of almost branded style of videos on his wonderful environmental blog, Dot Earth. Now here’s a great article yesterday about Gregor Hodgson’s Reef Check project getting a start in the Caribbean nation that probably most needs what they have to offer given the depleted fish resources of Haiti. (it’s an excellent article AND nice video).
KEEP IT CEREBRAL, MATE
So they seem to have developed their own unique style of videos that emulate the staid voice of the long serving “All The News That’s Fit to Print” brand. The videos are deliberately slow, somewhat ambling at times, very descriptive, with a narrator who probably has electrodes attached to sensitive body parts to make sure that he doesn’t come down out of his head into the lower organs — I’m guessing they’d give him a small shock for any emotion, a huge jolt for anything approaching sexual content or broad comedy, but apparently there’s a bypass for small, dry bits of occasional humor.
It’s just funny. The exception that proves the rule of the 4 Organs Theory. If you have a powerful brand name (as they do) you can afford to be dry, borderline dull, and always taken seriously. For NY Times videos, the proper approach is to NOT come down out of your head into the lower organs.