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Why My Video Flopped: 3 tips to consider for your next project

August 29, 2019

We all wish for the perfect project… You know, the one with the unlimited budget, the super flexible timeline, the SEO ready-made narrative, the supportive staff who communicates well… 

But, let’s be real, that scenario simply isn’t in the cards for most of us.  Tight budgets and deadlines are facts of life, and we must find ways to thrive on those everyday challenges.  

Variables like these seem to limit our ambitions, but they don’t need to.  So, what can you do?  

Tip 1: Take a risk – it’ll *probably* pay off 

A man walks across a tight rope suspended between two tall rock formations

You start out with this grand vision, reinforced by countless little details that serve to make your video stand out and compel your viewers to take notice, to engage with your narrative.  

According to our Creative Director, Wes Kennison, the key to a great video is maintaining that creative confidence.    

“Every project starts out being very brave and bold,” Wes says, “but, sometimes people are concerned about taking risks.” 

Moving outside your comfort zone is daunting.  It’s totally understandable. You feel unsure, and sometimes this makes you want to conform, trim back fresh ideas, and hide behind what’s ‘safe.’ 

“Suddenly, all these little things water down very informed decisions,” Wes says.  And, that’s where you shoot yourself – and your project – in the foot.  

You can’t play it safe in this market.  There’s simply too much content. If you’re not ready to take a risk and be brave and and bold, then you’re just another piece of content lost in the mass of other videos that were uploaded today. 

Tip 2: Everyone is not an artist *sorry, Bob Ross 

A middle aged Caucasian man with a fro named Bob Ross paints a colorful mountain landscape and smiles

“As a commercial creative,” Wes explains, “you are an artist in some ways, but you’re not an artist first.”  

We’re looking at you, Subway.  We love a footlong Italian sub for lunch, but we don’t need to hear your life story to buy that sandwich (or add an extra chocolate chip cookie).  

Ultimately, a video is not made for the ego of the creator, but for the client and their audience.  When a creator forgets the purpose of the video – to create something for a client that accomplishes their commercial goals – things can get weird and wasteful.

Tip 3: 100 percent of your audience is… HUMAN 

A silver alien with big black glassy eyes stares

A thousand market demographic studies fail to emphasize what should be at the core of visual storytelling: you’re creating for other humans.  

“You know, when I come to work, I respect the people around me, just as a way of operating,” Wes says, “and I think of audiences {in} the same way. I think that they deserve the respect of not being patronized or oversimplified.”

People want to relate to your narrative – even if that narrative exists within a simple, corporate tutorial video.  The heart of your work should be about building empathy and translating that through your video in a way that makes your audience understand they are receiving something of value.  You want your viewers to think, “Wow, I believe that too!” or “That’s really useful to ME!”   

And, if that’s not your priority, what is?   

 

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