Why do people think flashing word slides make great website videos?

Lubetkin Global Communications camera setup at a recent seminar
Lubetkin Global Communications camera setup at a recent seminar
Lubetkin Global Communications camera setup at a recent seminar
Lubetkin Global Communications camera setup at a recent seminar

I look at a lot of video created for other companies to see what’s going on in the world we inhabit on behalf of our clients. I am really disturbed by what I see.

Many companies apparently blanch at the cost of producing a real video with pictures of their workers, facilities, and interviews with their subject matter experts. So instead, they are persuaded to produce what I consider misguided videos.

Video producers can create animated word graphics fairly easily, and instead of finding a way to produce decent images for their clients, a lot of them seem to be taking the cheap way out — picking their client’s pockets in the process.

I just watched a video for a Florida PR agency that takes this “flash some words with urgent music”  approach. You see a lot of stock images of swirling globes and business-oriented graphics flying by. You see buzzwords and generic business headlines about the “changing environment,” flashing onto the screen. These words are supposed to tell the story of why I should use this firm in “a changing communications marketplace.”

But wait one minute, please. Let’s get real.

They are using video to flash words at you.

You can read the words more easily on a static page.

You don’t need the urgent pulsing music to tell you that the economy is tough and the media environment is changing.

What can someone know about the firm after viewing that video?

There are a few b-roll images of what I assume are their team members in the video, without any sound. The only thing I know about those people is that they seem to have a blue tinge to their skins. I didn’t learn anything about their capabilities and experience.

Words on screen is a cheap, ill-advised way to do web video. People don’t want to be sold on websites. They want to be educated and informed.

If you want a video, then take the time to tell your story — yourself, on camera.

That’s the kind of videos we make.

We interview you and your team talking about your philosophy, your approach, how you handle clients. Then we get a client or two to talk about what you’ve done for them. We make images of you and your team actually working the problem. It’s harder to do, it takes more planning, but it will get you better results.

Visitors to your site go away knowing something about you and your approach.

If a firm asks me to watch a video and it’s just a bunch of words flashing across the screen, it tells me two things:

1) they really wasted their money on the video budget, and

2) they are pompous asses if they think they made a cool video, because it’s just the same boilerplate bullshit they would put on their pitch slides, and I learned nothing about them from it.

I want to hear the agency head TELLING me how s/he feels about these trends and what they are doing about them for clients. That’s a video.

Which kind of video would you rather see?

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