Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Dad Dancing

Weddings. Once you’re out of your twenties, they’re the only time it’s acceptable to start drinking before noon, make out with people you went to school with and then vomit on a bush. Plus, the dancing. Ooooooh the dancing.

It’s not a wedding until someone’s Dad is tearing it up on the dance-floor. Bless him. He’s a bit drunk, he’s a bit self-conscious, he means well, but he’s throwing himself around like it’s the MTV Awards. Sadly, the whole thing is (sorry Dad) embarrassing. This is, of course, on top of the Father Of The Bride making unfunny, cringe-worthy attempts at jokes during his speech.

Your Dad is not, we repeat NOT, Pharrell Williams. Nor is he Seinfeld. So his attempts to follow in their footsteps is all rather unseemly and hashtag-awks. This is exactly what happens when you don’t get a specialist to do a specialist job. We call it “Dad Dancing”.

We see it every single year on The Apprentice. Every season, on both sides of the Atlantic, there’s an episode where they task the candidates to do something creative. Something specialist. Classic examples include writing a children’s book or composing a hit song. Every single year, without fail, these successful business people are TERRIBLE at it!

There are three distinct reasons for this. Firstly, the candidates on The Apprentice are usually the biggest collection of morons you’ll ever find walking this green and pleasant land. Secondly, they’re only given eight hours to complete what is clearly a six month task. Thirdly … these are not creative people! They are not writers, authors, musicians or comedians! They’re a hodge-podge of (alleged) salespeople, managers and traders. Throwing them into a studio and getting them to write a children’s book or a pop song is like tossing an anvil into a swimming pool and expecting a decent back-stroke.

Whenever a project requires creativity, comedy or humour, a worrying number of non-specialists think they can easily muddle through themselves. Ask the same people if they want to get up on stage at a comedy club and entertain a paying audience for ten minutes, and you’ll get a panicked cry of “No way!” Because they know they’re not ready. They know they don’t have the right skills. Your project is no different.

Why stop at creative projects? Why not pitch in with construction when they’re building new offices? Sure, they’ve never swung a wrecking-ball before, but how hard can it be? They understand the basics, right? What about the next time the team has to fly cross-country. How come they’re not up there in the cockpit, steering the plane through turbulent skies? Who needs to hire a specialist to fly a plane?

The point is this; Dad Dancing is damaging. To the project and to your brand. What you do best, is what you do best, and specialists are specialists for a reason.

So find a specialist. And we do mean a specialist. Will a general practitioner video production company SAY they can deliver comedy and humour? Of course they will. Guys in the bar will tell you they’re so funny they should be a comedian, but that doesn’t mean you should put them on stage and trust them with an audience.

That’s it for this time, folks, gotta get going. The toilet is well-and-truly broken so we’ve got a butcher coming round to fix it.

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