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You’ve seen the numbers and heard the news that online video can help propel your business to the next level, but that isn’t necessarily true in all cases. While it is true that technology has evolved to a point where animated videos can be produced on a desktop computer at home, don’t think that just ANYONE can do it well. Sure there are services out there like GoAnimate, Animoto, or Wideo, that give you “everything you need to create animated videos on the web”, but can these tools really create something that speaks to YOUR brand? Sometimes, but maybe not in this case.
The pre-made GoAnimate assets aren’t the main issue with this piece. There are a lot of amateur-level mistakes in the production that keep this brand from putting its best foot forward. The computer-generated VO lacks personality, and is difficult to understand with the loud music. If a custom voice track is outside the budget, it would be better to use a typographic treatment instead. Also, the interface for the product isn’t the most interesting thing to look at (few are). Normally, when an interface is shown it’s broken up and stylized to represent the product, while making it interesting to look at. The fonts are inconsistent, the story is unclear, and the motion is limited.
While other basic production mistakes were made, I think it makes more sense to focus less on the video itself, and more on what a piece like this actually says about you.
What do you think a video like this says about an organization? If potential customers see familiar characters in familiar settings that may have appeared in other user-generated videos moving like robots to a voice track read by a computer, they might think your organization is the kind of place that uses template solutions; unable to do anything you couldn’t figure out on your own. It’s quite possible this sort of amateurish take will shake their confidence in what you actually do well.
Don’t think this is just me slamming what Go Animate, or similar solutions, do. If you find someone who cares enough, and knows how to tell a compelling story that can engage your viewers, these tools can be made to work. The key is simply knowing how to use video to spread your message, and represent your brand. Meaning your colors, your logo, and a human voice to tell your story.
Besides, paying someone to create your video doesn’t guarantee success either. Sometimes you can put your vision into the hands of a professional and still get questionable results, but that’s a whole other post.
Only having the “We need to make a video!” mindset is the problem. You see, it’s not just the characters, music, or voice over that make your video great. It’s the story that’s told, and the value that can be gained from watching it. It’s avoiding basic pitfalls that distract from the message you’re trying to convey. And it’s putting yourself in the viewer’s place when considering your content. If you go into your video project with that in mind, you will finish with a video people actually want to watch.
Have you seen a DIY video that does more to hurt a business than help it? Post your examples in the comments below.
Nick Vaka is Creative Director at Visually. You can follow him on Twitter @NickDesigns