Corporate Video Train Wrecks

Corporate videos gone bad

This is how I feel when I see a corporate video train wreck.

Is “good enough” really good enough for your company? I hope not, but I feel like it might be when it comes to many businesses’ corporate video.

I try to feature the good and the bad of those videos here. Either way, they provide some valuable lessons for anyone producing video content. Finding the bad ones, unfortunately, is pretty easy. That prompts a question for me.

Where’s the pride?

I find it hard to believe the leaders at many of these businesses look at their videos and think, “Great! We nailed that one. This video makes our company look awesome.” That just can’t be happening.

Most of the videos I feature here tend to be borderline, and I offer some expert ways for how they could have been improved. The thing is there are also some real clunkers out there. I don’t even bother highlighting those because I feel like there’s a fine line between being constructive and being mean, but trust me… those bad videos are out there.

So… back to my question, Where’s the pride? First, how does a company end up making a bad video? Second, once it’s done… why release it?

Corporate video gone wrong

The reasons for how a bad video gets made are numerous. Hiring a bad producer, not communicating well with the producer, not hiring a producer at all and attempting a DIY corporate video… and those are just a few. I guess I understand how things can go wrong, but I’d hope someone would have the guts to step-in, say this isn’t working, and figure out a new direction.

The inexcusable mistake I don’t understand is releasing a bad video to the public. It’s just a bad PR move. Even if a company spent a lot of time and money on a failed video, there’s nothing that says it has to be released.

It also doesn’t have to be a total loss. We’ve stepped in to “save” plenty of bad videos in the past. Your nightmare experience might be salvageable by contacting another producer and seeing what they can do with the existing material.

All of that being said, if you produce a bad video, please… don’t upload it to the web. It only makes your company look bad, and I’m guessing that’s the opposite of what you were hoping for at the beginning of the production.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.