Far too often we come across explainer videos that tell us some company's product will "save time and increase sales," or maybe "save money and increase time," or some other iteration of this general concept, and each time this statement is uttered, it's accompanied by the inevitable clock and dollar sign graphics. Don't tell us you haven't seen it before...
It would be too easy to blame the animator. He or she receives a script with that infamous piece of copy, and what else can they possibly draw? The fact is, the groundwork for this monotonous cliche was laid long before the animator even set eyes on a script.
In our experience, we've seen it happen one of two ways. Either it's just a case of lazy copywriting on behalf of some underpaid, under-qualified, or uninspired wordsmith, or the client—unsatisfied with the depiction of their product in script form—has decided to beef up the text with a few gems of their own.
The thing is, once the time-and-money line is in there, it never comes out. Why? Because you simply can't say no. Who's going to take responsibility for killing the "our company saves you time and money" line? In doing so would they somehow be implying that "our company doesn't save you time and money?" Nobody wants to be that guy. And so it goes, everyone keeps their mouths shut, and that poor excuse for a sales pitch manages to worm its way all the way through to the final draft.
What's so bad about saving time and money, you ask? Well, nothing really... except that the idea of saving time and money is not some revolutionary concept. We all want to save time and money, and simply by saying so is hardly a convincing argument.
Think of it like being taken out on a romantic dinner-for-two. How would you feel if the first thing out of your date's mouth was some vaguely optimistic statement about the future of your relationship?
Not only would you find it hard to believe, but it would likely illicit the opposite of the intended effect.
Instead, what if your Dapper Dan were to show up bearing a single rose? That kind of action speaks for itself. If your date is thoughtful enough to display their affection in the form of a rose, or for that matter any action that validates their concern for your wellbeing, you're free to draw your own conclusions about the worthiness of your suitor. Getting back to business, it may very well be true that your company saves customers time and money. You might even have an endless supply of data to back that up, but don't just settle for hollow marketing statements, especially in an age where customers have become increasingly immune to ad-speak. Your company needs to develop a compelling representation that depicts your product at its best, and a well-crafted explainer video will imply value without needing to rely on hollow statements.
Don't settle for clocks and dollar signs. Give your customers a rose, and rest assured that all of us are bound to save time and increase sales.
Have you encountered any other cliches in explainer videos?
Please let us know in the comments to make sure we avoid them too!
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