Couple of Words Walk Into a Bar
Hacking YouTube for Google: How to make your job harder for yourself and 10x more fun by Vedant Vaishampayan, Senior Copywriter
I saw a reel where (don’t you feel that these days 50% of our conversations start with “I saw a reel”?) a person is upset after their idea gets approved. Same. This was such a tough one to get through. I hadn’t estimated the sheer writing skill it would demand from me. It started off with a video Binny sent and I sort of got obsessed with the hack. But the fear of the idea being disingenuous still haunts me.
Hauntings aside, I suggested the idea in a jam session, it was written and pitched…and immediately approved (aaila jaadu). The stars were aligned. But this was the easy part. Now comes the part where we actually make the hack work.
After speaking to the production house, we came up with the magic formula, “Between 2 words that come up on the bar, there should be 4 words. No more, no less.” But being itna rigid was out of the question. We speak in English, not in binary. Essentially, the task at hand was to write 2 dialogues that said 2 different things while using common words. If what I just said is confusing (coz even I am confused) here’s the dialogue of the video. Bold are the words that walked into the bar.
“I have something you want, and I want to give it to you. It is a steal of an offer to save your money! Isko activate karne keliye add this <actor points to his left to an UPI ID on the screen> on your app It’s my UPI ID. It will double the amount you enter into a discount voucher. Now enter the amount. Type in exactly ₹5000 aur phir press pay. Ta-da! Do teen taps mein your 10,000 ka voucher is ready, money is saved, the discount is applied and heavy prices, gone! Use it for any amount!”
Few ways to make the formula easier. Write the 3 sentences you want to stand out. 3 sentences of not more than 4–5 words. Bare, simple, nude sentences. And then use these to construct the larger dialogue, sentence by sentence.
I kept imagining Rajan Sir using this as an exercise in his copy classes with a small smile on his face.
A large part of the process was trying to fit the words into the formula. An extremely minuscule, almost microscopic part was accommodating changes and on one occasion, trashing the first script and writing a new one because the product had to change.
But man. The sheer anxiety of the experiment failing in execution as well as impact was so high, it could’ve been arrested.
The film was published, thankfully everyone liked it and sab kushal mangal hua. I remember sitting in a cab as the film went live with the biggest smile on my face. Safe to say the cab driver was petrified.
Here’s everyone who made it possible, the film not the petrification of the cab driver: Zubin, Sanjay, Sruthi, the super talented folks at Dot Dot Boom, Geetika, Rugvedi, Gokul, Karthik, and of course Harneet and Ananya.
Special paragraph for the ice-cream Sruthi sent.
None of this would’ve existed (film, this blog or my wide smile) had it not been for the belief Sampada and Rakshita showed in the idea.
In conclusion, a couple of words walked into a bar and the rest is a call to action.