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Tired of the same old company videos? You know, the ones with generic information that aren’t specific to your brand? What about the ones with an overload of  information? Or videos that are just plain boring? Well, have no fear: parody is here.

Parody is a pretty efficient way to get your message across. One mistake that corporate companies make is underestimating their audiences. Potential clients are not as uptight or dim-lit as we might think. Sometimes it’s necessary to put as much as faith in your audience as well as your content. The perfect blend of information and fake self-mockery sets you apart from the competition and drives the point home. So before you decide to make that parody video, try to keep the following in mind:

Be Funny

This should probably go without saying, but here’s a reminder anyway. Potential clients might think your company is tacky if the video doesn’t serve its purpose. If you’re successful, companies might assume that your services are just as good as your humour. If you’re lucky.

Watch this I.T. company get it right:

Know Your Brand

This also comes with really knowing your brand. After you establish what your company actually does, it’s important to know how you can stand out. The more you know your brand, the better you’ll know your audience. Being specific is key.

Parody can be a train wreck when done incorrectly. The last thing you want to do is to make a self-deprecating video that exploits weak areas. Instead, you might want to play up your company’s strengths in an unconventional way. This can be done with funny animated words, short one-liners, or employees doing something…weird. You get the point.

In essence, don’t do this:

Be Mindful of Parody Laws

Not too long ago Canada made the switch from fair dealing to fair use in its copyright laws. In June of 2012, a copyright reform bill was passed and became law, making three additions: parody, satire, and education. Essentially, Canada then broadened their list of interpretations, making it difficult to determine what infringes on as trademark. Typically, criticism doesn’t infringe on copyright material when:

  • the source
    • the name of the source
  • author (when applicable)
  • performer (when applicable)
  • maker (i.e. recording)
  • broadcaster (when applicable)

A grey area appears when an audience doesn’t know the difference between a parody and the original material. In the past, Canadian companies owning trademarks could argue that a parody is depreciating the goodwill of their original trademark. But since Bill C-11, which was amended to include parody under non-infringement, it’s technically now an exception. In other countries like Britain and the U.S., parody is not clearly defined under fair use, and neither is it prohibited. Instead, it’s taken on case-by-case.

Italy Berlusconi Scandal

Don’t Go Overboard

Know the subtle difference between parody and satire without offending anyone. In our world of political correctness, it’s easy to step on toes. Satire is meant to poke fun at things we hold dear (e.g. race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation etc.). Parody exaggerates or imitates a piece of work for comedic purposes.  If you’re not sure your parody is offensive, you might be better off not running it across that internet.



What are some other ways to make the perfect parody? Comment below!

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