Fake background and green-screen videos are not what your customers want!

Steve on green screen
Steve on a green screen. We discourage our clients from using green screen for videos intended to tell the story of their business. We think fake backgrounds send the wrong message about transparency and authenticity to clients and prospects.
Steve on green screen
Steve on a green screen. We discourage our clients from using green screen for videos intended to tell the story of their business. We think fake backgrounds send the wrong message about transparency and authenticity to clients and prospects.

Increasingly, we are seeing efforts to convince people to spend their video marketing money to create mindlessly similar plain white screen “Thank you for watching this video” videos.

Or worse, they are being persuaded to stand in front of a green screen so that a fake background can be inserted behind them.

In an online world that prizes transparency and authenticity, does it really put your business’s best foot forward for you to appear in a phony setting?

Why can’t you appear in your office, your factory, your facility, or meeting with your best clients? Why are so many people suspending their clear-eyed business judgment because a green-screen video looks so cool, even though it also looks so fake?

News flash, folks. That’s not what your customers and prospects want.

The last thing a video should be is you on a white background just talking about how wonderful you are. Video is a fancy word for television, which is a fancy word for TV. And TV is a VISUAL medium. That means a talking head (you only) is BORING.

You need to follow the four-word formula created by Don Hewitt, the legendary executive producer of “60 Minutes.” He told his reporters this:

TELL ME A STORY.

That’s what you need to do in a website or profile video, you need to tell a story with pictures and voices and scenes that show what it is your firm does and how you do it. This is relatively simple to produce — we do it all the time for our clients — but it does require a higher investment for professional production, and it does require a little more work.

The rewards are in producing a video that people will watch and enjoy, and possibly learn from.

Take a look at the videos we produce for clients. They are not phony environments. They are real professionals in real environments, the ones they work in, with the clients they work with.

We get awards for doing it this way.

We think that means we do know something about doing corporate website videos a little more right than the guys who sell you the green screen approach.

Now you know something about it too.

3 Comments on Fake background and green-screen videos are not what your customers want!

  1. Steve,
    I couldn’t agree with you more on this point. The green screen is an opportunity to mislead (whether or not that is the intent). It is taken to extreme on the nightly ‘news’. Whereas it may make some sense for it on a weather forecast, it misinforms on other stories. Similarly, business videos with green screens tend to be fluff stories. I like your approach, as it is far more genuine and informative.

  2. Agreed. There is a reason why folks like Stewart and Colbert use green screens. For comedy. Besides, getting the camera with the proper resolution and DOF capabilities to make a green screen look half decent is prohibitively expensive for most small businesses. Even if you’re working with high-end editing software.

  3. Go Steve. So pleased to hear a professional like yourself say this. Many of my professional speaker colleagues set up these green screen backgrounds to do their promo pieces. Something always made me think Yuck. You nailed it and put my feelings into words.

    Recently I went to the location where I was going to speak a month before the event. I did a 90-second piece in front of the building (traffic noises and all). Some of my best watched You Tube views in awhile. http://bit.ly/NrN1j4

    I think it was Authentic. Short and to the point. That’s what people want today. I’m glad you agree.

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  1. Eight videos your company should NEVER make | On Communications Blog/Podcast

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