How to Make a Bad Video

To make an explanation video that is compelling and to the point, don’t follow the 11 pieces of advice below. Do the opposite.

At Splainers, we don’t believe in bad videos. Well, we definitely believe they exist because we see them all the time. We just don’t believe in making them. However, we do understand how easy it is for good video intentions to be led astray. Here’s how it happens:

1. Avoid looking at your product or service from the user’s perspective. Think only how you see it. What do users know anyway? They didn’t design your product. As they say, “Father knows best.”

2. Stay away from analytics, user trends and proven best practices. Don’t make a plan on how or where you will deploy the video. Avoid measurable results and opportunities to find out what is currently working. What are your objectives? If you’re fully dedicated to a bad and ineffective video, you shouldn’t have any.

3. Use smarty-pants language. Find the most scientific and difficult way to explain things. Use tons of acronyms and specialist words that include both prefixes and suffixes. Add a string of adverbs and speak with an all-knowing tone. Selling tires? Perhaps you can call them “rubberoid momentum enhancement devices.”

4. Try to say everything. Overwhelm your audience! Even if your video is only 60 seconds, try to pack in every feature, function. benefit and marketing message. Stay away from any kind of core story or simple takeaway. Make your video even worse by speeding up the narration and going into details that the audience doesn’t really care much about.

5. Place unreasonable demands on the production company. Ensure a half-baked script and poor production values by ordering a video just before you need it. Skip the storyboard stage and go straight from hastily written script to stressed production. Want to see how poorly animators read the minds of copywriters? Let’s find out!

6. Don’t be involved in the production process. Ask for a video and then wait around idly until the production company delivers some content that misses the mark. Don’t fill out any kind of questionnaire and hinder all efforts the production company makes to better understand your audience, objectives and product. Avoid giving feedback, as it tends to improve the final video.

7. Be too involved in the production process. Make it hard on the production company by not taking their advice or trusting their expertise. Email and call them regularly with new directions and shifts in emphasis so that they can’t move ahead with confidence. Completely re-write their scripts to and try to turn the video into a PowerPoint presentation.

8. Get dozens of stakeholders involved. Want to slap a good video idea in the face? Get every stakeholder involved in the production. Instead of achieving a consensus on objectives and core message, make sure everyone’s personal goals and insecurities are represented in the script. If your team is having communication problems, just dump them on the scriptwriter and watch her lay an egg!

9. Tell, don’t show. Neutralize the power of video by ‘telling’ instead of ‘showing.’ Talk down to your audience… with words, words, and more words. Stay away from powerful imagery and visual metaphors. If you must use visuals, stick to vague objects that viewers won’t be able to identify.

10. Be conservative. Ensure your video will never turn heads by using talking heads, cliches and forgettable explanations. Bad videos must fight surprises and metaphors as if they are the plague. Excite no one by trying to satisfy everyone. Blend in with the million other videos that your audience will likely never watch.

11. Go with the cheapest option. Use that company halfway across the world to create the cultural miscommunication that will guarantee a dud. Choose style over substance. Avoid experienced pros – especially when it comes to writing.

If, on the other hand, you want a compelling video that makes a lasting impression on your audience – contact Splainers at 425.890.4081 (or

#content #viralvideo #badvideo #storytelling

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