Tips to Avoiding Terrible Commercial Video Production

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“If a thing like this is worth doing at all, it’s worth doing right.” – Hunter S. Thompson

Have you ever seen a commercial that makes you question… well a lot of things? “Who puts this stuff on the air,” or “Why do I want to gouge out my eyes?”

As a professional video and TV commercial production company, we find these ads particularly astonishing. Sometimes it’s hard to identify exactly why a commercial is bad. It could be you just find an actor or jingle irritating. Maybe it’s bad copy or just a product you find worthless.

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Fortunately for us, there are armies of Creatives who line the road to television that usually make sure commercials aren’t eye-gougingly bad. No one wants to put their brand on a bad commercial.

Yet somehow, every now and then, something inexplicably terrible gets through.

Exhibit A:

After watching this, a lot of questions come to my mind. Mainly, why on earth would anyone spendmillions to buy airtime for a national ad campaign, and not bother to make a good commercial?!

There are just so many things wrong here.

1) They use a standard definition camera shooting at 30 frames per second. There’s no excuse for not shooting this in high definition and at a better frame rate.

2) The acting.


“Oh you.”

3) Notice the slightly unsettling stillness of the office around them? That’s because they shot this on a green-screen. If it’s too hard to find a real office to shoot in, you’re in the wrong business.

4) The graphics/animation are just pathetic. Have some pride in your typography! And what is going on with the CGI General? Notice his mouth is still moving after he’s done talking. It’s like the producer told the animation guys, “Just make his mouth move, we’ll figure out what he says later.”

5) WHY THE HELL IS THERE A PENGUIN AT THE END OF THIS COMMERCIAL?! Granted, he’s adorable, but this seems like a client thing. “My daughter loves penguins. There has to be a penguin in the commercial.”

In conclusion…

I’m sure “The General” is a respectable company but commercials are the face of a business. It’s like when you visit a company’s web page you can pretty quickly tell if it’s a place that you want to do business with or not.

What it comes down to is bad commercials make your company look bad. It doesn’t matter how many people will see the commercial. You may get increased site traffic or brand awareness, but nobody will want to do business with you.

What commercials out there make you want to gouge your eyes out? That’s what the comments section is for.

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