Four Commercial Blunders That Could Be Brilliant

At Platypus we always like to discuss best practices for producing crisp, high-quality content. We often get asked, “What does bad content look like?” We found four sample videos, three from popular media and one viral video, that were all so close to brilliance, but as actual advertisements fall short in some way. Take a look at the videos and we’ll discuss what goes wrong in each one.

1) Kitten Mittens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fP4emqw7O4

⁃ Kitten Mittens could be an incredibly popular product, most cat enthusiasts would see that product and immediately consider purchasing it for their own felines. At least that would be the case until they saw the creator of the product and the quality of his advertisement!
⁃ Notice that this commercial is has some of the lowest production value you can possibly find. The poor spelling combined with cheap looking graphics, and the set looks like the dingiest apartment of all time! Let this be a cautionary tale about the importance of production quality. Even the greatest product will do poorly if your production quality is poor.
⁃ The product spokesman also seems to lack focus. While he certainly appears passionate about Kitten Mittens, his spastic nature detracts from the product and draws unnecessary attention to himself. Perhaps bottling up a little of that enthusiasm would help bring attention back to the product.

2) Better Call Saul

- Let us start by saying that in the context of working as viral advertising for AMC’s upcoming Breaking Bad spin off, this is perfect. Its perfection is achieved due to the effective satire of low-budget ads for scumbag lawyers. But take it at face value (as a lawyer’s actual advertisement), and it’s just another low-budget ad for a scumbag lawyer.

- The shortcomings of this video lie primarily with the way the spokesperson carries himself. The decision to open the commercial immediately with a statement about a multimillion dollar case suggests he’s insecure, and thus has to boast his own self-importance. In fact, suggesting that you can sue anyone for any reason makes it easy to assume that much of what the spokesman says is a lie, so why trust anything he says?

3) Paddy's Pub Virus Video

⁃ If ever there was a need to teach somebody the importance of doing your research, this video should be the one you show them! The creator of this video had perfectly good intentions, with the goal of driving traffic to his bar. The one mistake he makes with this video is understanding the type of content he’s trying to create.
⁃ While we all know the creator had the intention of making a viral video, his lack of understanding creates a huge misunderstanding. Calling it a virus video will surely stop any and all viral potential of the video, as anybody who does see it will refrain from sharing it with their friends.

4) Cullman Liquidation

⁃ Simpleton or marketing wizard? We’ll let you decide. Where others would play it safe and produce a bland commercial for their business, Robert Lee throws caution to the wind and makes selling mobile homes sexy. Despite creating the most inspirational video of the bunch, it still fails to hit its mark. For starters, while the intended tone is an epic, movie trailer vibe, the sound effects and tan filter make it way too over the top. Rather than being epic, the attempt falls flat and comes off as goofy.
⁃ Several times in this ad, Robert Lee is just a little too honest. While honesty is an admirable trait in a business, boasting about being punched in the jaw and highlighting mobile homes with stains is not the best way to attract new business.

So let's review, when designing your own content, remember the following:

  • It's important to pay attention to the production quality
  • You need to have the right spokesperson
  • Research, research, research
  • Use an appropriate tone

If you follow these four rules, you will surely create video that will be trusted by consumers, and is more likely to earn more business.

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