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5 examples of bad corporate videos (mistakes you should avoid at all costs!)

It’s always entertaining to search up ‘bad corporate videos’ and have a laugh. But of course we’re laughing at someone else’s expense. These examples of corporate videos have cost a company money; although judging by the production values of some of the videos I’ve watched, it makes me question where the video budget was spent!

So why are we highlighting bad corporate videos? Well, if you’re thinking about commissioning a corporate video for your organisation, you need to know how to avoid making these mistakes. To get you started the video below is a corker! It not only sums up everything that can go wrong with a corporate video but it also purports to come from a ‘video production company’!

Watch and weep, then read on for the most common mistakes that I see cropping up time and time again.

Bad corporate videos – the bad, the ugly, the sad and the weird

Mistake #1: Poor production values

A corporate video is all about making a great impression on your target audience, whether that’s customers, employees or other stakeholders. A video with poor production values (i.e. badly scripted, filmed, acted and edited) doesn’t stand a chance of making a good impression unless you’re being ironic or want to create a spoof version of a corporate video. However, to pull this feat off, you actually need a talented production team who can create a video that looks bad for all the right reasons. Not easy, and definitely not a job for an amateur armed with a smartphone!

Mistake #2: Dated techniques, styles and footage

Some corporate videos look very dated and cheesy (but not in a good way). Again, a talented production team and creative director could deliver a fantastic retro-style video that plays up to the techniques used in the 70s, 80s or 90s; but with many of the dated corporate videos doing the rounds, retro was not the idea. Unfortunately, this content is generally created by people who have got stuck in a corporate video rut and don’t take their influences from other media like advertising campaigns, movies, music videos etc. Look for a video production company whose showreel reflects contemporary audio-visual styles, even if you’re after a retro look.

Mistake #3: No clear message

What do you want your target audience to take away or do after watching your video? Many corporate videos don’t have a clear message (direct or subtle); probably because no one has clearly defined the objectives for the video. If your video production company doesn’t ask ‘what do you want to achieve?’ this should ring alarm bells. Without this direction it doesn’t matter how creative, funny, entertaining or memorable the video is, it won’t make a difference to your organisation’s business or marketing strategy.

Mistake #4: All style, no substance

On one end of the scale we have videos with bad production values, on the other we have videos that are slick, stylish but devoid of any personality or authenticity. If you’re using a video to showcase your organisation, it needs to reflect your culture, brand and your target audience. If your video production team doesn’t understand these characteristics you could end up with a very sterile, bland but beautifully shot video.

Mistake #5: Too personal

While you should inject your corporate videos with personality, always remember that the video is not for you but for your target audience. If the video is for internal use you can probably get away with some inhouse jokes and references, but not if the video is for customers or investors. There are better ways to communicate messages about company culture. You may also want to consider whether it’s appropriate to include this type of content for internal comms – may be that inhouse joke is actually wearing a bit thin and won’t engage employees in the right way? Keep in mind your target audience throughout the project and if in doubt about any aspect of your video, think about how they might react to it.

Finally, here’s an example of how to get corporate videos right:

HSBC Be Inspired | Brand Film from NRG Digital Group on Vimeo.


Rob Edmonds

Author Rob Edmonds

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