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Stop making videos (for God's sake)

Videos are the most wasted.

Being a visual medium, a video has the power to both dazzle and repel your customers.

Which one are you choosing today?

We often get video making gigs for videos that do not need to be made. Even while producing we know the video is not going to make any difference whatsoever to that brand. But you see, they are paying us money. And not listening to our advice. So we keep our moral compass aside and do our best to make it work.

However, for the last couple of years we have begun to confront our clients about why they want to make those videos. We have even lost a few projects. But we have refused to make bad videos aka videos that do not add to our client’s marketing.

We are this, we are that

So many times Abhishek and I have worked on a really creative concept and storytelling but the clients have stuck to their narcissism. Instead of focusing on what their customers want, companies make the mistaking of focusing on what they want to sell.

But this is how a customer thinks -

Yeah great product. But what does it do for me?

How does it make my life easier?

How does it solve my problem?

More often than not, we have seen businesses just too fixated on themselves and their products instead of showcasing the ‘how’ of their solution.

If you are a business, a college, a factory or a startup that wants to showcase your products without explaining the ‘how’ of it, don’t make that video. You are wasting your time and your customer’s time, and well, a lot of your money whose returns aren’t coming.

Get out of ‘we are this, we are that’ mindset and get into the shoes of your customers. Start saying and showing ‘this is how your problem gets solved if you use our services or products’. That’s a huge difference.

The subway-sandwich videos

There are numerous videos on YouTube and on the Internet that show the intricacies of each feature of a certain product or service. Reel after reel, shot after shot the video keeps on and on about what the product can offer. There’s so much information that it becomes harder and harder to keep a track.

This reminds me of an Indian customer who goes to Subway and gazes at the menu. He quickly does the math in his mind and realizes Subway is expensive, way too expensive. So he decides to extract the value for his money. He asks to put every veggie available in his sandwich along with every kind of sauce. He takes his first bite and realizes his folly.

Many companies make the same mistake. They think if their product has 10 features, they will showcase each one of them in the video. The result is the customers feel overwhelmed by the information failing to grasp which feature is more relevant to them.

Each customer is different. And not every feature of your brand or service will appeal to every customer.

Stop making what we call the Subway-sandwich- videos. Pick the most important features and showcase them as solutions to the problems.

Recall how Apple chooses its iPhone features carefully to present in each launch. The phone may offer a tonne of features but the company chooses to showcase and market only those features which a large variety of masses will use and appreciate. That’s how they continue to sell iPhones at ridiculously high prices. This is why people like my brother Abhishek continue to watch those launches live every single time.

Videos without story

Yes, there’s a tonne of industries where storytelling into a marketing video seems a far cry. Our clients ask - what story can you tell of a factory producing wires? We tell them - the process of a worker arriving at the factory, his day’s work, his precision with the machines, his equipment and his protective gear and how he uses them - itself is a story.

You cannot sell to your customers today without a story. And videos certainly cannot do without one. Nothing will last longer in a customer’s mind more than a lesson from a story.

If you are hiring people to produce videos without any storytelling element, just stop already.

The ‘show-don’t-tell’ principle

At AVM Pictures, we never go to any client meetings without a showcase presentation. We follow the ‘show-don’t-tell’ principle to the hilt. And we educate our clients in the same way.

The reason why a customer will watch a video is because he or she doesn’t want to read or doesn’t want to be told. He or she wants to see for themselves. If your video also flows like a written medium, you better not make that video and ask a writer to write a blog.

Your videos should show what you can do for your customers. Unless your customers see your solution clearly, they will not buy.

Check out this TVC we produced for Sri Aurobindo Institute of Technology and get some inspiration.


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