Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

The Muppets On Hold!

The Muppets. Their iconic voices, lovable personalities, and creative appearances have entertained the world for decades. But do we ever think about what goes on behind the scenes? If you see the Count banging away at his organ or Elmo bicycling, do we ever marvel at how they move without a puppeteer in sight?

Maybe for a few moments. But then the Muppets enchants us, and we forget.

This phenomenon can be applied to almost any situation: watching cartoons, driving a car, typing on a computer. We all know that the inner workings are mind-bogglingly complex, so we just accept that they work: “Someone draws Bugs Bunny,” or “I push a pedal and the engine moves the car.” Simple, right?

Ever notice or wonder why most Muppets are left handed?  That's because the performer has to manipulate the head with their right, and the body with their left.  You probably never noticed or realized that they're on a stage six feet high.  That's to get the right angle for filming, while accommodating pulleys, strings, electric motors, and more to move the Muppets.  But you don't need to know all this, all you know is that there's a funny green frog singing a love song to a pig.

Let’s apply this reflective process to, oh I don't know... how about, listening to audio content while you're waiting on hold: “I dial a number, an operator answers, I tell her who I wish to speak to and then she tells me to hold.  While waiting, I hear a message about the company accompanied by music.  Of course, why not?  Big deal.

But where does this audio program come from?  What is it played on?  Who produced it?   Who told the announcer what to say?  Did someone write the script?  Was it someone who works for the company or did they hire someone to write it?  How did they get the source material for it's content?  Who decided on the voice?  Who decided on the music?  After it's produced, who makes sure it gets implemented on a certain date?  Who remembers when the content needs to be changed?  What happens if the equipment fails?

Welcome to the world of on hold marketing.  Welcome to the world of Holdcom.


So now you know, in case you didn't before.  But don't worry, because next time you see a pig karate-chop a frog across the screen it'll still make perfect sense.  And next time you're on hold, you'll go on getting the message.

Tags: on hold communication, digital equipment