by Kenneth Rudich
In the Charles Dickens novel “Hard Times,” a strict school master by the name of Thomas Gradgrind vigorously insists that his students are to be exposed to one and only one thing in their studies. In his thoroughly resolute mind, it is a singularly important matter.
Here’s how he explains it: “NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!”
Like Gradgrind, some people want the information they receive (or give) to contain nothing more than that which is absolutely necessary for conveying it. Not even so much as a hint of anything extraneous is permissible.
Then too, other people would rather have the information woven into a story that makes it somehow more relatable or interesting to them. They want to feel a kind of human connection, something less sterile than what mere facts alone tend to produce. They’ll happily invest an extra minute or two (generally speaking) if you’re able make it worth their while.
One advantage of digital content development and delivery lies with the versatility to accommodate both types of people by creating separate versions of the same core content. Then if you like, you can test which version appears to garner a larger audience over a specified period of time (this, btw, is typically referred to as A/B Testing).
Or perhaps each version will attract its own sizable portion of the audience, where some people prefer to be regaled with a story while others only tolerate facts. In which case, you can offer both variations and let your visitors choose for themselves. As we well know, most people enjoy the empowerment of being able to make a choice that coincides with their personal preferences.
Branding in the Digital Age
With the above in mind, we’ve created two different versions of a services promo using our own signature Stylized PowerPoint-to-Video process.
The version on this page is what we refer to as the short version or the Thomas Gradgrind Approach. At a little less than 2 minutes in duration, it’s been stripped of any and all story elements. It simply delivers the facts.
Another version, which can be seen here, takes the liberty of incorporating a story line along with the core content. It’s a little less than 4 minutes in duration, but the story elements add flavor, much like herbs and spices can do for a meal.
Go ahead and view both, then let us know if you prefer one over the other – and perhaps even tell us why.