Don't put a sock in a toaster

Following on from last night's remarks about presentation I stumbled across this clip from Eddie Izzard delivering a monologue based on St Paul's letter to the Corinthians as told in the Christian bible. Aside from the fact that I find it very funny I feel I have to remark on the comedian himself.

What a curious bloke. He stalks the stage in shiny rubber trousers with (what looks like) a satin pea coat in red. His shoes look like they have four inch Cuban heels. He has dangly ear rings, plucked eyebrows and wears more lipstick than Liza Minelli. Unlike Barry Humphreys in drag as Dame Edna Everage Izzard doesn't resort to a comic falsetto.

I think the nett effect is that Eddie Izzard's costume and stage persona is so odd that anything he says, by contrast, seems perfectly normal. By disrupting the bubble of safe expectation he is able make anything seem reasonable.

Why am I telling you this?

I think advertising often works the same way. There is a truism in creative circles that if you have a twisted headline then opt for a straight picture. And vice versa. If your picture is mad then play it straight with the words.

How many times have you seen something so straight that it's not interesting and so fails to break through your consciousness; or so challenging and clever that you simply pull down the shutters.

We like the new but most of us prefer to keep one foot in the 'knew' - like monkeys we know that it is better to have the next branch firmly in hand before letting go of the last.


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