Audio-visual: (adj) using both sight and sound, typically in the form of slides or video and recorded speech or music.

dictionary with letter A

Today I am imagining a cave man or one of those early human beings–whatever you may call him or her–sitting by the fire, grunting out a story about a fascinating hunt-down of an angry mastodon.

Noticing that the audience has lost attention, he decides to add a drum beat and scrawl out in charcoal on a nearby series of smooth stones some pictures, to accentuate the thrill of his kill.

His audience is suddenly much more receptive.

Thus the beginning of audio-visual.

Nowadays, we wouldn’t even think about trying to tell a story or share an idea without the use of a sound track and flashing pictures on the wall to illustrate our points.

Matter of fact, anyone who would consider simply using the human voice to tout a message would be viewed as arcane, out of step or certainly old-fashioned.

But in a generation which is constantly being bombarded sensually, perhaps the best way to communicate new ideas is through sensory deprivation.

  • What happens if we take away every sense except the ears?
  • Or maybe we remove the other four senses and just leave the eyes?
  • What if, instead of launching a huge campaign for a new line of baked goods, we just release the smell of the delicious product into the air?

Even though I appreciate those who come to me at my concerts and ask me if I have AV material (which is shop talk for “audio-visual”) I have to tell you that imitating the antics of the monkey next to me does not make me a superior monkey.

Somewhere along the line you have to get the monkeys of the world interested in something other than flashing images of bananas.

I believe the next movement in advertising and communication will have to be relieving our senses of attack, and finding a way to simply tell our story by the fireside.


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