One of my favorite Oscar traditions each year is to sit on my couch in my pajamas, with a bowl full of my preferred snack, and relentlessly judge each celebrity walking the red carpet for their outfit of choice for the evening.
Don’t lie – you probably do it, too.
But another one of my favorite traditions during that time of year is to follow the Golden Raspberry Awards, or as it’s more widely known, the Razzies. This “awards” ceremony, held the day before the Oscars (and not affiliated with it in any way) serves as the antithesis to the Academy Awards, and recognizes the worst in film of the past year.
There’s just something about celebrating fantastic motion picture achievements and pointing fun at lackluster films and actors, all within a span of 24 hours.
That got me thinking about video marketing. Many brands have knocked it out of the park with their video strategies, and others keep striking out or hitting foul balls.
So I talked with the Brafton Video team to get its thoughts on the best and worst content marketing videos they’ve seen recently, and which aspects companies should emulate – or steer clear of – if they want to have a successful video strategy.
Ladies and gentlemen, here we present to you our awards for the Best and Worst of Video Marketing.
The award for tickling our funny bone goes to … Dollar Shave Club.
Video Producer Hannah Perlmutter said this video stands out to her because, simply put, it’s hilarious. While there is a lot going on, it easily flows from one scene to the next. She said this example is proof that brands don’t need an extreme video to make an impact on viewers.
The award for catchy song that will be stuck in your head for days goes to … Groupon.
Not only is this video short and sweet, but as Hannah explained, it has an extremely catchy element.
“Clever jingles are always a good idea,” she said. “This one isn’t even ‘sung’ well, but it’s catchy and does a great job at matching the visuals. Also, the simple matte background is big right now. Groupon definitely played into what’s trending and really went for it.”
Hannah explained that one of the biggest differentiators of great content marketing videos is that they are detail-oriented. Brands that want their videos to stand out from the rest of the noise need to make sure they are focusing on the details.
“Stories and videos are all in the details,” she said. “They’re able to convey more than words can in less time, and are much more interesting to look at than a blank screen.”
The award for video most likely to elicit an emotional response goes to … Lyft.
Lead Motion Graphics Designer Evelin Garza Luna explained there are many things that make this video shine, most important of which is its ability to connect with viewers.
“What works so well about this piece is the fact that it doesn’t focus on the technical aspects of what the product does, but it shows a narrative and story that expresses how the product can connect with a viewer,” she said. “By the end of the piece, the viewer has an emotional connection to this June character and is left feeling happy and good.”
(I’m not going to lie – this video got me in the feels).
But apart from the message, the video is also well-made, and while it is on the longer side, it keeps a viewer intrigued from start to finish. Evelin commended its visual style and cinematic aspects.
The award for video that successfully tells a story without being overly promotional goes to … Staples.
Video Producer Gina Tempesta highlighted this video for its ability to effectively tell a story.
“This is a great example of what companies need to do to be good storytellers without being in-your-face marketers,” she explained.
Another strong feature of this video is its relatability factor. When watching it, viewers can picture themselves in at least one of the scenarios, and the brand capitalizes on this to connect with prospects.
Now on to the fun stuff.
The award for video most likely to make you cringe goes to … SunSetter.
Although this video is a few years old, its age doesn’t warrant such a dated appearance, Gina explained. It also makes the brand seem lazy.
“This is an outdated video that is too infomercial-looking,” she said. “Also, note that the man’s voice is badly dubbed over at 25 seconds to reflect the price change. This conveys that the company doesn’t have the money to invest in marketing and does not care about attracting a newer, hipper audience.”
If brands aren’t going to put time, effort and resources into their video marketing strategies, then it might not even be worth creating these assets. Otherwise, you’ll end up with something that looks like it belongs in the early ’90s.
The award for bad video script writing goes to … TriNetHR
Evelin explained this video got some things right – for example, the footage itself is great and is presented beautifully. However, its overall message missed the mark.
“The song, voiceover and script are lacking,” she said. “When the voice talent started speaking, I was laughing. The music made this even more cheesy and felt like it was something I couldn’t take seriously. The way the company portrays itself seems fake, over the top and not honest. Rather than appealing to a larger audience, this video seems to focus on just CEOs with an over-inflated ego.”
(We would like to extend an additional award to this video: The award for funniest comment section. Be sure to take a look.)
The award for video that looks like it was made with PowerPoint goes to … Capita Education.
This video makes its viewers do all the work. There is no voiceover element, which means viewers are reading every word that is slowly typed across the screen. There’s nothing that will make a prospect lose interest faster than this.
“The video isn’t dynamic, and perhaps the biggest concern is it’s nearly four minutes long,” Evelin said. “I honestly feel that very few viewers would have the patience to watch the entire thing. Most people start to lose focus at the minute mark or even earlier. I stopped watching at the 50-second mark. The visuals are dull, the message is conveyed at an extremely slow pace and fails to keep the audience interested in the product.”
If you want your marketing videos to be Oscar contenders and stay out of Razzie territory, take notes from these examples to develop an engaging, entertaining and creative video marketing strategy that wows your prospects.