I struggle constantly with the battle between consistency and variety. And balancing the family-friendly image but allowing the adolescent in me free. And this struggle, paranthetically, doesn’t get easier when I catch yesterday’s Doctor Phil (while on the treadmill, so kinda had no other option thank you very much) interviewing people about Facebook photos that might come back and haunt us. Okay- crossed that bridge a long time ago.
But then I see Jon Lajoie doing a video where he raps about being a stay-at-home dad. Given his edgy style, I was expecting him to pull the rug from under us. But it was a playful reflection of the fact that being a dad can indeed be cool, and there was no surprise shocker in that video. Then weeks later Lajoey is back to his irreverant style with this ear-worm called “Show Me Your Genitals” (Vagina, Vagina).
For some reason Lajoei’s work comes across as a parody of perversion instead of perversion itself. There are times where I think I’d trust him babysitting my kids more than SxePhil). Come to think of it, I think I did dump my kids wtih Phil at the Washington, D.C. gathering but that’s because there were only two or three other attendees.
There’s something intriguing about someone who can vary their style (either by format or tone) and maintain a regular audience. Some of the most popular creators are known for consistency (Sxephil and whatthebuckshow). Others are known for predictably well written sketches (Smosh, Lisanova, and Baratsandbereta).
Like Lejoie, BaratsandBereta also show that us that you can do videos like the recent Bible in a Minute and the timeless Second Coming of Christ, but still return to wholesome skits like the popular Mother’s Day video. Of course, the duo’s Mormon-like style ranges less than Lijoie, who also boasts “Friends With God?” And how in the world is that video not at 10 million views?
Whatya think? Can you appeal to a large, sustained audience if your tone and format ranges, or is it better to find a formula and stick with it? The history of television would tell us consistency is fairly important, and there’s a fuzzy but important line between edgy and perverted. But maybe those rules change with a new medium. Especially if we can segment our content to give viewer’s a choice between the style they’ll accept.