So a BBC Arts Correspondent just completed a short run of three 90-minute magazine shows.
It seems they’re trying to imagine how a Daily Mail Arts section edited by a first-year St Martin’s College student might sound.
Will Gompertz called it his Heat Map. He liked the link with football analyses that glow where on the pitch a player covers.
His last show began with a feature he excitedly intro’d as “popular”; the 5 word review.
Here’s the ones quoted as I listened (subject in brackets);
catch it before it closes (Royal Academy Painting The Modern Garden exhibition Monet to Matisse)
we are the stone herders (House of Fairy Tales production for children)
poor poor Ross from Friends (play The People v OJ Simpson)
Prince could have written it (track Sorry by Danish ‘nordic soul’ teenage pop band Liss)
Then later one listener (just one) messaged in with their own;
Della for Prime Minister please (Raised By Wolves tv comedy series)
I’ve written many times on the usefulness of shortened sloganising when pitching. Even a previously encountered quinturn.
So I was most interested in these and their crafting.
A trio of points hit me.
What was astounding was how none of them seemed to truly capture what each reviewer meant to portray.
Take the first on the paintings. The host himself prefaced his snappy review gushing that it showed the best art he’d ever seen on display in England. An accolade that simply does not come across with his subsequent five words.
I wondered on the music opinion too. I’m pretty sure her thoughts on the single concerned were more akin to ‘what should’ve followed Purple Rain’.
As for the audience contribution, Will commented it was “the best comedy show on telly by miles”. A fact I wholeheartedly echo. Yet he strangely seems to have forgotten his own stricture. ‘Funniest current tv by miles’. . .
Another tip emanates from the fairy tale production chap. He took ages to get round to it. Never a good sign. And was rightly, humorously ribbed for his “five word review with fifteen hundred word preamble”.
Finally, did any of them prompt me to rush along and devour the said art on offer? Well, you can make your own mind up on that score.
Such ‘soundbite’ is not easy to produce that is both concise and memorable. Make sure yours really represents the essence of your power. It can’t have an accompanying essay of guidance notes upfront for further explanation. And that it truly triggers genuine and searchful dialogue.