• Paul Rutherford


Updated: Jun 10

You can learn a lot from unsolicited promos on social media. Especially what to avoid...

Haifaa Al Mansour, who DOES know how to do things differently

Here are the 10 MISSTEPS to making a video that no-one will want to view (unless as a warning lesson):

MISSTEP 1. Put the CEO on screen immediately. If you have a handy stained-glass window (see video below), tilt the camera so the boss looks beatific, framed by a halo. Here's the opening pitch:

"We’re living in a world of tremendous change;

MISSTEP 2. Scare your potential customer. Here-and-now dystopia grabs attention, so use as many cliches as possible. The 'script' continues:

“Technological revolution. Economic upheaval. Environmental disruption.

“Change is creating a world of uncertainty...

MISSTEP 3. Switch to a positive message. Explain that you do things differently, while showing a video like every other corporate film that’s ever been made.

"... but change also creates opportunity.

“An opportunity to do things differently, problem solve in new ways, discover fresh perspectives, and solve tough issues across different disciplines.

MISSTEP 4. Speak corporately. If the slightest hint of original thinking appears, kill that in the next paragraph. Use as many management BS terms as possible in a single sentence.

“That’s why we need to empower openness, collaboration and innovation - now, more than ever.

MISSTEP 5. Name names. As you have nothing original to say, it’s a good time to mention your brand. But don’t actually tell anyone what sort of business you’re in.

“And at xxxxxxxxx, that’s just what we’re doing.

“We believe that bringing together the best and the brightest minds is the spark that makes a brighter world possible.

MISSTEP 6. Keep it short. If you think that your target audience has the attention span of a flashgun. Have each sentence. Or clause. Or facial. Delivered. By a different. Per. Son.

“Contributing to our understanding of the world and advancing the communities in which we live.

“And what’s not to love about that?

MISSTEP 7. Use visual signals. While a corporate video will be all things to all people, some specifics will creep in. White coats and microscopes will scream science and medicine. Perhaps that's what you do?

“We reach our fullest potential when we work together.

“It leads us to great things like curing hopelessness, expanding our understanding of the mind, improving quality and access to health care, or improving our lives at a molecular level.

“It allows us to think big, champion innovation, and build the future.

“And that’s not a campus thing, it’s an everywhere thing.

MISSTEP 8. When diversity is an important message for your organisation, don’t limit the verbal-emojies ('what’s not to love'; 'everywhere thing'; 'kind of immeasurable') to three young women, right?

“The outside world is one big classroom to us which allows us to collaborate with new people. “Success is making a difference in the way the world really feels, which is kind of immeasurable, right?

MISSTEP 9. Repeat key vocabulary as often as possible: big (x2); innovation (x2); improving (x2); opportunity (x2); change (x3); world (x8). Avoid terms that your target audience might find intimidating. E.g. 'think' (x1).

“And that’s just how we like it because our work is never done. It’s never, ever done when you’re creating a brighter world.”

MISSTEP 10. Search Engine Optimization. Embed SEO terms into the file meta code. In the perfect world of social media advertising and algorithms, your video will be presented to viewers for whom there is no interest whatsoever.

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#business #humour #work #video

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