The curse of the agency promo video
We’ve all been there.
Sat in a brainstorm.
Talking about how to promote the agency.
When someone comes up with the bright idea of doing a promo video.
And everyone then agrees it’s a good idea.
After all, content is king, and what better way is there to spread the agency’s message in a creative and interactive manner?
??And then, often, someone often builds on the idea and suggests that maybe it should be a song.
Sung by the agency staff.
That’d be cool, right?
At this point most agencies accept it would be a cringe and move on with the brainstorm and leave the promo video idea behind.
But some don’t.
They shoot the video.
And sing a song.
And whack it onto Youtube.??
And inevitably – it’s a car crash.
And a very public one at that.
This week it’s Sapient Nitro’s turn.
They’ve produced a ‘music video’ about them being ‘idea engineers’.
And it’s terrible.
No seriously – it’s so bad they’ve already removed it from their own Facebook page but thankfully it lives on for now via Youtube.
It’s already had 50,000+ hits in a few days and now I have heard of Sapient Nitro.
But for all the wrong reasons.
Their video may just overtake Ogilvy’s “ballad to David” as the worst agency song / video yet*
So why do some agencies, communication specialists, get it so wrong when it comes to self-promotion films?
Fundamentally, it’s because they forget the basics.
I.e. why are we doing this piece of communication, who is the audience and what do we hope it achieves.
Agency promo stuff should be a chance to demonstrate just how great the agency is at delivering creative content.
It needs to be engaging, interesting and maybe surprising.
But most of all, it has to be brilliantly delivered.
There are of course some agencies that have done it really well over the years.
Engine Group using Tim Westwood for the ‘Engine are like the Wu Tang Clan of Comms’ grad recruitment scheme, is a shining example:
Funny, executed brilliantly and right on message for their audience.
And so was Mother’s Christmas Rodriguez campaign that helped explode them on to the map all those years ago.
But these examples are few and far between.
Agency promo videos can be very powerful when delivered properly.
But they do require the same level of thinking as if planning a client campaign.
And if the agency isn’t prepared to do this then their promo videos really do deserve to go viral… for all the wrong reasons.
Adam Clyne works at leading content PR agency, TVC Group.
*(They smartly removed theirs from Youtube although fortunately a bootleg version remains here http://youtu.be/EYnSGfcRJf0 )