Corporate videos and bad toothpaste adverts

If you see us frowning at the computer, it might well be because we’re watching one of the many corporate videos that are akin to bad toothpaste adverts. For us, toothpaste adverts have a habit of missing the mark.

Disclaimer: we’ve done a toothpaste advert which you can see on our video production page…nah, only joking.

How to make sure your corporate video doesn’t alienate your audience?

1. Don’t assume your demographic has a low IQ

There are a variety of styles of toothpaste advert. I’m going to use the following example to illustrate my point:

An ‘expert’ accosts a ‘member of the public’ and informs them that their current dental hygene regime isn’t working. The ‘member of the public’ then returns having sampled the new product and experiences some kind of epiphany.

I have many issues with these styles of advert, but my main one is that it’s missing a crucial element. The acid test for whether a testimonial will be believable and achieve the aim of building empathy with the audience is how ‘real’ the people are endorsing a product. Getting an actress to act as a member of the public can insult many viewers (and costs a lot more to produce).

How this translates to corporate video

Some corporate videos underestimate the power of being natural. Testimonials from ‘real people’ are incredibly powerful – people buy from people. Don’t fall into the trap of heading straight for the auto-cue or hiring in an actor. People pride themselves on being able to tell if a testimonial is genuine. A fake one can really hurt your brand.

2. Remember that your video is your shop window

Another advert style we worry about is making it ‘look real’:

A person who is an expert in their field, i.e. a dentist, recommends the product, but in order for these to seem more real – someone, somewhere has said that they want these adverts to look like anyone could have filmed them.

They’re wobbly (they’ve been asked to make them look handheld) and the cuts are shaky – trying to give a feel of a home movie to make the interview look more believable.

One of the worst we’ve seen is where you’re looking at the dentist face on, the next the image has been flipped so that you’re looking at the dentist as if through a mirror and then you crash into a close up and then you come out again. Your mind is thrown about like it’s recieving short bursts of electricity.

How this translates to corporate video

Make sure that your corporate video represents your brand in a good light. You can absolutely film an interview yourself and edit it. Many people film less than high end productions themselves and some work very well.

The acid test here is to show people who don’t know you or your brand and see what they think of it before you release it.

If they like it, great – release it. If they don’t, you might be able to figure out how to adapt it and you’ve saved your brand image.

3. Share and share alike

Have you ever sat down and watched a toothpaste advert and thought:

“Stop the press! I’m sharing that on Facebook. I need to find this on YouTube and Tweet it”

Believe me – we love adverts at Curveball Media and we do frequently get a bit nerdy over them. I appreciate that dental hygiene is a subject that isn’t sexy, but with a bit of strategic forethought there are many ways of producing content that will get shared. Some of you may remember the Aquafresh advert in the 80’s?

How this translates to corporate video

Your company could sell something that is incredibly boring, but that doesn’t mean that your corporate video has to have the MD of the company talking to the camera for 3 minutes about the product.

Think creatively. Search out examples of videos you love and analyse why.

It’s often not a high production value that will ensure you video engages with the audience, it is the concept.

4. Online presence

Whilst writing this blog I decided to take a look at one of the UK’s top toothpaste providers YouTube channels. The landing page looks very professional and the views are healthy (which you’d expect with such a huge marketing budget). The only issue being that the first video you see is ‘Private’, which isn’t very inviting.

However, they only have 300 subscribers and for the amount of views, this is very low. The company in question are not utilising their YouTube channel by encouraging people to engage with them.

How this translates to corporate video

SEO is constantly evolving. Everything is social and video plays a very big part of that. It is big news that you can now link your YouTube channel to your Places Page. Everything is becoming integrated and linked.

If you’re going to spend money on a corporate video, maximise it as fully as possible. Multiple videos are now more valuable than just having an ‘about us’ video and engagement counts.  Make sure that you give your potential clients something worth subscribing to.

5. Question Tradition

It used to be just toothpaste adverts and sofa adverts that I dreaded. Neither have appeared to have evolved over the last few years. People are increasingly demanding in terms of what they will sit through and how they will engage with the brand afterward.

I couldn’t tell you what toothpaste is better for sensitive teeth or which one will strengthen my enamel.

How this translates to corporate video

I’m going to answer this with a video – TMWA were commissioned to create an advert for CSL Sofas and the management at CSL had the foresight to listen to TMWA. This advert breaks the mould – it’s fresh and it gives me goosebumps. Words that cannot currently be applied to toothpaste adverts.

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