10 Commandments of Commercial Video Production

We applaud all the companies below for realising the power of video and for being savvy enough to know that using video to promote their brand can result in a very healthy ROI.

However, making a professional commercial video is not as simple as pointing a camera at a few of your mates. Consider the reputation of your brand. You certainly don’t want your video to work against you, and worse make your company a viral laughing stock.

Here are some companies and brands who’ve attempted a commercial video production, but sadly missed the mark. Learn from their mistakes to make sure you get your commercial spot on.

1. Thou Shalt Not Dishonour Thy Brand Identity

Whilst this commercial for Southside Mitsubishi is certainly memorable and we appreciate the humour, it’s not on brand. Mitsubishi is a luxury brand and rapping isn’t associated with luxury brands. Your company’s commercial is not the place to fulfil your childhood fantasy of becoming the new Dr Dre. Do that in your own YouTube video.

We suspect this was all the brain-child of the showroom owner, the reps who join in at the end are clearly awkward which in turn makes the viewer cringe.

TIP: Choose the right creative execution to fit your brand’s identity.

TIP: Don’t allow anyone in front of the camera unless they are 99% comfortable with performing.

2. Thou Shalt Not Covet Other People’s Ideas (And Copy Them Badly)

Well done to the plucky employees of Thorne Travel for giving this a go. These ladies (and one man) seem like they’d be really good fun down the pub. This parody of the old Virgin Atlantic advert has gone viral. Sadly, not for the reasons they would’ve liked.

Does that mean the video has been a success? That’s up to you to decide.

TIP: If you are going to do parody, do it well.

3. Thou Shalt Not Cast Your 8 Year Old Daughter in an Epic Catastrophe

Even huge companies such as Microsoft make mistakes. This video falls foul of many rules. This video achieved 5,500 dislikes on YouTube and only 2,000 likes.

In some circumstances singing an entire commercial could work, especially given the product is Karaoke software, however the lyrics are awful and the sentiment is worse. Keep your videos short and to the point.

You do not want your corporate video to be irritating, or make your audience laugh at your brand.

The girl, mother and father have clearly never met before the shoot day and are totally unbelievable. This viral commercial will leave a dirty mark on this poor child’s digital footprint.

Warning: This video will make you cringe for over 4 minutes.

TIP: Cast wisely.

TIP: Use music sparingly.

4. Remember Thy Model Can’t Necessarily Act

There’s no doubting models are easy on the eye. But they can’t always act.

To be fair to these actors, the director may have been terrible, but oh dear me – who gives a more wooden performance the kitchen cupboards or the actor sitting in front of them?

TIP: When casting, don’t just choose from a book of photos.

TIP: Get the actors in front of a camera and give them some lines to perform.

TIP: Casting an ‘Extra’ in your commercial may save you a few pounds, but an ‘Extra’ isn’t a trained actor – just a background crowd filler. Not fit for purpose.

5. Thou Shalt Not Cast Football Players … Unless They Are Playing Football

It was hard to choose the worst video staring a footballer, as there are so many to choose from. Footballers hold global appeal, are immediately recognisable and add great status to your brand or product.

In theory.

In reality even the best educated and most charismatic player could do serious harm to your brand’s reputation by giving a wooden performance (at best) and making your brand a laughing stock. Here are some Man United players NOT doing what they are best at.

TIP: Unless your footballer is well known for his acting skills only cast a footballer in your commercial production if he will be displaying his ball skills.

6. Thou Shalt Not Be Overzealous With Your Sound Effects

By adding sound effects you can give your commercial video production a heightened sense of reality, create an illusion or convey a certain mood.

However if you overdo them, as in this Japanese juice commercial, they will be the only thing your viewer notices – at the expense of your product.
Note: This commercial also stars Man United “actors” – a double crime.

TIP: Don’t overdo your sound effects. Less is more: Keep them low in the audio mix.

7. Thou Shalt Not Take Your Audience’s Ears and Batter Them With Bad Music.

This lady is not an actor, but she is a genuinely happy customer. It was a good decision of FastKlean to use their customer’s testimonial to promote their services.

However, the awful ‘lift music’ makes this video look cheap and at best amateur.

Commercial music is expensive to use, especially on television commercials, but there are plenty of library music companies who are more cost effective. They will even recommend tracks for clients to use if they know your brief.

TIP: Give yourself plenty of time to find the right music track. The wrong one can make your brand or service look cheap, cheesy or worse – send your viewer to sleep during your commercial.

8. Thou Shalt Not Commit Amateur Graphic Design Murder

At first we weren’t sure if this video was a spoof as it is promoting video production services. We wish this man much success with his business, it would seem he is a one-man-band and it’s feels mean to criticise a man in the same industry as us. However, if you want professional graphic design, go to a company that has a dedicated team of professional motion graphic designers.

TIP: Don’t try your own graphic design. Good motion design isn’t about being able to add text to your video, it’s about style, design, texture. Leave it to the professionals.

9. Thou Shalt Not Leave Your Audience Feeling Depressed

This is a beautifully shot commercial for major Japanese brand Tokyo Gas, but it leaves you feeling really depressed.

Hollywood created the happy ending for a reason.

10. Honour Thy Professional Commercial Video Production Company

Big up to anyone who recognises the power of video and is savvy enough to commission a corporate brand film or a commercial video production.

However, as Spiderman’s Uncle Ben wisely said: “With great power comes great responsibility.” A poorly made video that has a creative concept that misses the mark, or is off brand or is simply badly executed can do more harm to your brand or product, than good.

A video is worth making, but only if it is made well.

Trust the professionals; they know the market, know the best production processes and have teams of experts to come up with the best creative solution for your brand.

This video made by TellyJuice for Freesat uses great creative, state of the art 3D motion design, is on brand, has good music and good use of sound effects. Read here how we made it.

TIP: Use a professional Commercial Video Production Company, such as TellyJuice. We’ll discuss your brief, advise you on a video strategy and give you a free quote.

For more information on how to create a commercial, or corporate brand video – for television or web purposes, contact us.

To see more examples of great videos, go to our work page.