Billy Mays was one of the most successful pitchmen of all time. Why? Because his genuine delivery turned night-time ads into experiences, connecting you with Oxyclean in a way that you never thought possible. His delivery was the antithesis of the boring corporate sales pitch, and by understanding the elements that contribute to soulless, sleep-inducing video, your appeal will be more Mays and less EULA.
If you’ve ever been to a meeting where the speaker reads from a PowerPoint presentation, then you know what we’re talking about. The boring corporate video is little more than a talking head reading a list of product features without belief or enthusiasm. It’s an approach that’s great if you’re selling sleeping pills, but detrimental if you’re actually trying to move your customers.
Don’t fall into this trap. The voice behind your video should smile when they talk, use gestures, and believe in your product. If the delivery of you or your voice actor sounds more like a robot than a person, try having fun with it. Dance around a bit. Try creating ridiculous gestures to signify each statement. Do whatever you need to do to get your spirits and your delivery into a positive space.
Zero Visual Appeal
Too many businesses think of video as a podcast with pictures. Still images of products in production and boring displays of people in suits talking about nothing are going to excite your audience about as much as they excite you: very little.
Instead, go for some visual panache. Illustrations, animations, and entertaining graphics are all ways to breath life into a boring presentation. Consider each component of your message and ask yourself, “how can we convey this most effectively?” The answer likely isn’t, “by having some guy stand in front of a camera and read from cue cards.” Show your product in use, put people in fun situations, and use motion and color to add a splash of magic to your video.
Lack of Emotion
If you’ve ever seen a car ad, you know what emotion in advertising looks like. A child hits a home run and the all new Toyota Camry is there to see the action. The bored and overworked businessman finds new freedom throwing his Cadillac CTS around tight curves. In either instance, the appeal of the scenes displayed comes from one powerful place: emotion.
The problem with robots and uninspired visuals is that neither one has any emotion. Keep your video from becoming another corporate also-ran by using sentiment and feeling to convey your message. Levi’s uses freedom of expression to sell jeans, evoking emotions of joy and daring. Take a look at your project and think about the experience it evokes, then tap that for your video and watch your brand image improve.
We’ve talked about car commercials briefly; here’s another thing that they do well. At some point, they probably mentioned how many liters the engine features, but before we have time to become confused by the numbers, they quickly explain how that number affects you. For the 99% of us that aren’t mechanics, this turns product specifications into value and features into functions.
The dreaded boring corporate video usually achieves the opposite of this. The talking head that’s nearly put you to sleep proceeds to list benefits of their offering without connecting them to your life. Your business is better than that, and your video should be too. Take the opportunity to deliver meaning to your facts and figures and frame your product in a perspective to which customers can relate. Doing so will fuel conversion as enthusiastic patrons see promise in your product.
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: “deals so good you can’t afford not to buy!” And what about this one: “savings so low we’re practically giving them away!” Over time, customers have learned to take phrases like this and throw them in the mental garbage bin, ascribing them same value to their claims that they give to their psychic’s “insights”.
Don’t fall into the old traps of tired tricks. Avoid cheap ploys for attention like vague titles and multiple exclamation points. Simply be genuine and connect with your audience on a human level. Otherwise you run the risk of looking like a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesperson, and when’s the last time you found yourself excited to have them at your door?
Absence of Personality
If you’re playing the home version of our game, you’ve probably noticed a common theme between each of these features: no personality. The boring corporate video is little more than an empty, hollow attempt to push a product and gain a following.
As a business, your greatest asset is your personality. Social media has opened the door for more customer interaction than ever before, establishing customer expectations that businesses of all sizes should build a human connection with their patrons. Turn on the charm and turn up the sincerity. Give your message some honest delivery and your customers will thank you for meeting them half way.
Being a corporation doesn’t mean you have to act like one. Spice up your videos by avoiding these common pratfalls and enjoy the kind of connection to your customers that only sincerity, style, and a smile can provide.