No one said that it was easy to make videos, though one could be tempted to think otherwise, given the preponderance of videos uploaded online. Granted, it’s mostly just regular folk using their smartphones to get the job done, but here’s something to consider: many of those amateur videos are a helluva lot more entertaining than many corporate videos.
The problem with corporate videos is that they tend to be formulaic, the visual analog to corporate speak. Do you want your corporation to create videos that won’t double as an excellent soporific, or turn into Mystery Science Theater 3000 bait? Then here’s how you should handle five of the worst clichés!
Beware The Dreaded Ukulele
When you say the phrase “electric guitar,” what famous names come to mind? Maybe Eric Clapton, Jimy Hendrix, Slash, Tom Petty, George Harrison, and so on. Pretty good, right? What about the drums? There’s Ringo Starr, Dave Grohl, Keith Moon, and Charlie Watts. Do you know what you come up with when you say “Ukulele?” Tiny Tim. Yeah, that’s right. Tiny. Freaking. Tim. No, corporations, we’re sorry, but inflicting ukulele music doesn’t make you hip. Stop it.
Enough With The Corporate Speak
The article “5 Cliches To Avoid In Corporate Video Production” justifiably brings up jargon as another video sin that needs to go away. After all, jargon is just another pain point that we should take offline because there will be a paradigm shift going forward, so somebody should own this when it makes sense. ARGH! STOP! Just stop! Speak normal, and quit trying to impress everyone with how business savvy you are! The near-comatose are beyond impressing, and that’s what your audience becomes when you throw too much biz-speak at them.
Erase That Whiteboard Animation
Make that white-BORED animation! Who came up and promoted this tactic? The International Whiteboard Manufacturers Conspiracy? Maybe it was cute once upon a time, but apparently the old axiom “anything worth doing is worth overdoing” came out in force. And somewhere in the darkness of your company’s mainframe, your copies of PowerPoint weep bitterly, cast aside and neglected.
Delete The Parodies
No one wants to see your CEO dressed as Indiana Jones. What’s more, your sales managers make a lousy imitation of the Fellowship of the Ring. The problem is, everyone thinks they’re the next Weird Al or Zucker Brothers. In a well-meaning attempt to have a little fun and a few laughs, and perhaps seem “cool”, corporate production people create wince-worthy videos that have the precise opposite effect.
Oh, and on a related note: people who have no concept of how to rap should NEVER be made to rap in front of a camera. Ever.
No More Stereotypical “Action” Footage
Here we see Jim on the phone with a client. See how hard he works? Over there is Mavis, the office manager. You can tell she manages the office because she’s at the copy machine, printing out office managing stuff. And there’s Irving the intern, bringing in coffee while wearing an eager can-do expression on his young, freshly-scrubbed face!
Does Anything More need to be Said About That?
So there you have it. Five clichés that are guaranteed to turn your elaborate video production into a complete waste of time, for the people who made and the ones forced to watch it. Just remember that less is more. You usually get better results when people stop trying so hard, and instead simply act natural and add just a little bit of creativity to the mix.