There’s a scene in Mad Men when Sterling Cooper is commissioned to create a branded parody of Ann Margaret’s version of the song “Bye Bye Birdie”. The parody is written, shot, and edited, but when the project is presented to the client, they are unhappy with it. Not because the parody is poorly made, but because it lacks the charm of the real thing.
That’s the trouble with parodies. They are easy to make, and have potential for success, but familiar with the original will see right through a parody. There’s a very delicate balance between a parody that is clever and one that is tired.
Case in point: The Ugly Sweater Song. Turns out, there is a store in Chicago that specializes in ugly sweaters. The unusual business made a video to market themselves, and wrote a parody of “Teach Me How To Dougie” for the video’s soundtrack.
The video obviously took a lot of work and creativity. It’s a shame the music ended up so lame, though. Writing a parody for a popular song makes sense for someone trying to get attention, but if you already putting so much work and creativity into a video production Chicago project, relying on a parody feels lazy. If you’re trying to establish yourself with corporate video production, why would you want to appear lazy?
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