viralLet’s face it, there are some trends that we really don’t understand why they saw the light of day in the first place and we hope will go away as soon as possible. You know stuff like twerking, overusing hashtags and the Kardashians. I know I can be a bit curmudgeonly, but some of this stuff has just got to go. It’s 2015 now and we’re better than this. Here’s my list of top “trends” that really should never have been and need to be put to rest:

  1. Repurposed TV Ads

    If you have the budget to advertise on television, you’re doing OK. The problem is in this day and age you can specifically target your content to where the viewer is watching it. So the action you want someone to take from a TV ad isn’t the same as if they are watching on YouTube, or your website. If a viewer is on your website your call to action shouldn’t be to go to your website, they’re already there. What do you want them to do next? You can customize your content to produce better results now. Do it.

  2. Complicated Infographics

    Ever read an infographic and say “Huh?” or scroll down so far on the screen trying to read all the stuff crammed into one infographic you got vertigo? An infographic was conceived to relay small meaningful bits of content. Snackable content. The problem is someone went awry and tried to cram so much stuff in it became confusing. Stop it. Make separate infographics so they are more focused. Or better yet, create a video with voice over adding to the story your visuals are telling to help people retain that information better.

  3. Talking Heads

    No not the band. They made some great stuff in the 80s. I mean the video where the person is looking directly at the camera and talking like a deer in the headlights. For the entire length of the video. If you’re thinking about doing this, try watching a video of someone talking at you. It’s uncomfortable. It’s like a one way conversation with someone who never lets you speak up. Try mixing it up and doing something a little more interview style with the person being interviewed looking off camera and mix in some b-roll footage to keep the viewer engaged. Tell a story, don’t talk at your viewer. Pretty please.

  4. Viral

    I wrote about the viral video fallacy five years ago and it still hasn’t gone away. Let it go. It’s not going to happen. Can you produce video content that people may want to share? Absolutely. Can you target your content to a group or demographic and have it be a hit? Definitely. But the fact is less than 0.00001% of branded content gets any sort of viral traction and unless you put a big spend behind pushing the video out, you have zero chance. Beyond that, let’s assume your video goes viral, what percentage of those views are actually made by your target demographic? The quality of engagement and conversation matter much more than cumulative, untargeted views. If you’re selling luxury yachts you don’t need a few million views, you need a handful of views by a few millionaires.

  5. White board videos

    When done well, a white board video can be great. The problem is this video style was originally produced using time-lapse, or stop-motion animation. Now there are a ton of video production companies faking the process to churn them out faster and making crappy whiteboard videos. Many just use a couple of hand pose images and fake the hand drawing of the full image. When UPS first utilized the whiteboard style in their commercials over seven years ago, it was new and fresh. A unique treatment no one else was using. Now it’s bland. You’ve seen it before. Would UPS do a whiteboard animation now? No. They would do something original. Think like UPS and do something original. Don’t be one of the sheep, be the shepherd.

These are a few of the video marketing trends I see diminishing and potentially going away in 2015. Companies are better than many of these and consumers are smarter now than ever before. Any other video marketing trends you’d like to see go away?