video marketing corporate gobbledygookThere are few things worse than a video full of corporate gobbledygook. Well, a day without coffee is far worse, but you get the idea. Many marketers used to writing traditional press releases start peppering in a bunch of industry jargon. The problem is the viewer of your video doesn’t care about you, unless you can solve their problem. So you need to build empathy first.

I’ve previously written about this for Vidyard, because there are few things that will turn a viewer off faster than what I like to call Video Marketing Road Apples.  Road apples are what you may find (or have to avoid) if you are following a horse down a country lane. In other words: horse poop. If you are in a parade marching in a band you may be warned to “steer clear of the road apples” if your marching band is following a group of horses. This is sage advice for anyone’s video marketing as well. The “road apples” in your video marketing is all that corporate gobbledygook you typically find in many press releases.

Words like “revolutionary”, “groundbreaking” and “thought leader”. Think about if you were at a cocktail party and someone described themselves as any of these things. Wouldn’t you be trying to find the first chance to excuse yourself from the conversation?

The same goes for calling yourself or your product “world class”, “cutting edge”, “next generation” or “state of the art”. Aren’t those types of endorsements best provided by someone other than yourself? I mean, if the New York Times calls your product “cutting edge” or “state of the art” THAT is the validation you’re looking for. In fact…Kudos to you!

Finally let’s not forget really powerful terms like “synergy” and “paradigm shift”. If your product or service doesn’t collaborate well or provide a new or different approach to doing things in this day and age; then it probably shouldn’t be anything worth talking about.

When you start using this kind of road apples or corporate gobbledygook in your video, a viewer’s brain psychologically checks out. It’s the real life equivalent of the Charlie Brown teacher talking: “Wah, wah wah wah wah, wah wah.”

Why do they check out? Because they’ve heard it all before, very possibly in one of your competitor’s videos prior to watching yours. The only thing the viewer wants answered is “What’s in it for me?” or WIIFM.

Your goal with the video is not to talk about how awesome your company, product or service is; your goal is to engage the viewer. The key is you never start writing a script about your product or service, you always start with your customer. You want the viewer to be nodding along as they watch your video, saying “Yeah…that’s exactly the problem I’m having.” If someone has clicked to watch your video, they’ve already expressed interest. All you have to do is keep them interested by talking to them like a real human being.

So the next time you begin roughing out some video ideas, stop and think. You may get input about how “revolutionary” it is or how “cutting edge” the “synergy” is. Just steer clear of those road apples and keep your customer’s needs in mind. Because you wouldn’t want your customers to get put off by a bunch of impersonal corporate gobbledygook. And you definitely wouldn’t let them step in a big, fat, steaming paradigm shift.




Eric Guerin is the founder of Adelie Studios. He chooses to use his creative powers for good and not evil by helping businesses to better market themselves using animated marketing videos. He can easily be bribed with coffee. Read more of Eric’s posts