July 19, 2011
A few weeks ago, my wife and I made trip to the local movie theater to take in a nice little film called Bridesmaids. (Hilarious, crude and totally worth a watch.) Something during the opening screens rubbed me the wrong way.
Just before the movie started, a promotional message from the movie theater chain appeared on screen. Among other bits of self-love, the screen contained these words: “Enjoy our digital cinema presentation.”
That, friends, is a message that’s not worth communicating. It’s a message only the writer’s boss cares about. To the audience in that movie theater, it’s as useless as the Jujube stuck under the armrest.
The audience in that theater is concerned with watching a movie that looks good and sounds good and with not leaving behind a shoe that’s fallen victim to whatever makes movie theater floors so sticky. The key: an overwhelming majority of us don’t care at all why and how it looks good and sounds good. Just make it happen, movie theater; do your thing.
It’s like a news release that describes a company as one that “manufactures and markets innovative products for the pre-recorded entertainment projection industry” when they mean “we make exceptional projectors for movie theaters.” Get to the point. Say it in plain English. And write for your audience, not your boss.
[photo courtesy of ToastyKen on Flickr; photo illustration by Mike]