Back before the days of Netflix and unlimited streaming services, television advertisers would vie for your attention by serving you advertisements of smiling people moving to cheesy music. Like this:
Juicy Fruit won’t make you flip and twist off ski jumps with ease, nor will its flavor impress you beyond the first minute or two you chew it. The chewing gum is, in a word, boring.
But the creators of this advertisement hype it up.
Let’s look at some more modern videos that build up “boring” products.
These B2B-oriented products have the kinds of descriptions that make your aunt’s eyes glaze over when you tell her about it on Thanksgiving.
They’re anything but interesting – but you still need people to pay attention to them. After all, you need to generate leads and justify your department’s budget by ushering those leads down the pipeline to sales.
This is such a great example of a boring product that makes incredible videos. For context, Zendesk provides customer service tools for businesses. Why did this video work?
- Relatable use of metaphor – Comparing a customer/business relationship to a marriage is a nice analogy and super relatable. Everyone has seen or experienced a relationship like that. And everyone has experienced a sour customer in one form or another.
- Perfect framing of the problem – This video hits on the pain points for Zendesk’s customers. They sell software to increase communication. It also manages to frame the problems the business has (like being overwhelmed) as well as the problems that that business’ customers have. That’s impressive and something you should aim for in your videos.
- Use of humor – When your product or service is boring, you need something to make it interesting. In this case, the use of humor throughout made this video much more engaging than it would have been otherwise.
I also liked this video from Zendesk:
Why did I like this one?
- It told an authentic story – this video claims that it is from a real support ticket. Even if it isn’t real, the story feels like it could be true.
- It’s aesthetically pleasing – the videographer for this video knows what they are doing. Each shot is set up with nice lighting and composition. The shots follow what is trendy right now, making it more likely that others will enjoy it.
- It’s later in the funnel – while the first video was clearly a top-of-funnel lead magnet, this video is for later in the pipeline. It shows an actual interaction using ZenDesk, giving the buyer an idea of the experience they are buying.
This video from Slack is a great example. You likely know Slack, the file sharing, messaging software that just about every digital-based company uses or has used.
In case you didn’t, this video is an engaging explainer. Why does it work?
- Use of visual overlays – There are two dialogues occurring in this video. There’re the talking heads, explaining how and why they use Slack, and then their Slack conversations are being shown in the background. The combination of both makes this video rich with information.
- Different scenery – You get the impression that they wandered around the office making this video by the number of different locations the video is filmed in. The locations were probably picked intentionally for each interview. If your video is only filmed in one location from one angle, it is unlikely to keep the attention of your viewers.
- It’s short – Topping out at 2:20, this video is short enough for the average viewer to get and stay engaged.
Slack is a hyper-useful product. They show this off in their video. It shows how a program like Slack can connect a workplace beyond in-person conversations and email.
This video by HubSpot is super engaging. It’s a little different than the product explainer videos in the prior two examples. This is an educational video. Why does it work?
- It explains a trending concept – This video is good because it explains a concept that is often hyped in the news and explains it in a down-to-earth way. It talks about the real-life ways that AI and machine learning (ML) are being used in business today.
- It’s well-animated – The illustrations backing this video make it super interesting to watch. They are cute and aid in explaining the concepts that are touched upon in the video
- They never mention the product – This educational video is great because it’s designed solely for education, not to push HubSpot’s services. It alludes to them at many points in the video, but this middle-of-funnel piece of content works well without pushing Hubspot onto the audience.
Here, HubSpot establishes its brand reputation for thought leadership. Thought leaders share knowledge without expecting the traffic to result in a sale. That’s what makes this video effective.
Did these videos “move you?” Just because your product is boring or abstract doesn’t mean you can’t make an effective video about it. Look through the takeaways from each video and determine how you can apply those lessons to your marketing.
- Are you touching on a pain point?
- Are you giving them value?
- Are your videos aesthetically pleasing?
- Are they in touch with the times?
Keep asking yourself those questions, and don’t be afraid to ask new ones as you start creating your own B2B videos.
Let us know what you think:
- What are your favorite videos for boring products?
- Are they on this list?