OT: Competition that makes you cringe (funny)

FrigidNDEditing wrote on 6/6/2012, 12:10 AM
Hey guys, I was just sitting here watching this video and maybe I'm being mean, but these guys have been around a while in our area, and they're consistently inconsistent. Somehow they manage to get clients still, but really it's a bit of a mystery.

This is a video they have on their website promoting their services, tell me if you think you'd hire them for your business based on this?



Grazie wrote on 6/6/2012, 12:33 AM
I went to their Website and watched some of the output they've produced for their Clients. Had you seen that too, Dave?


FrigidNDEditing wrote on 6/6/2012, 12:49 AM
Ya it's very hit and miss, there's some stuff in there that's ok, even decent in a couple of pieces besides some audio problems, etc..., and there's plenty of stuff like this, and plenty of it is recent too.

Would you put this on your website to promote yourself if you were providing an audio/visual service saying that you're better? I'm all for helping guys in this business that ask for it and don't act like the know-it-all better than everyone else types ( of which there seem to be an overabundance ) and I'm not even calling him that, and I have helped many people, many many times (even those in direct competition with me). That's not this guy, he's been around long enough to know better. I don't know about you, I wouldn't promote myself with that video in this business, that's for sure.

Duncan H wrote on 6/6/2012, 1:05 AM
The great thing about marketing of one's services is that it is all about meeting client's needs/ expectations, fit for purpose and value at a price point vs alternative service providers. It would appear that this crew have some loyal and happy customers and if customers see value in these productions,then all is well. If they don't see value, they won't be engaging the company to produce a promotional video.
I'm don't think that it is appropriate for me to criticise anyone's work (partic when they're not here to provide perspective and who is completely unknown to me).

Good luck to them, it would appear they have satisfied customers.

I'm not here to defend anyone's work, but I would hope that forums aren't out making comments about some of my projects - that I very much realise (in restrospect and after some wise and welcome feedback) could have been much better. I'm the first to admit that I am far from expert, but I do secure paid work, including projects for international companies and I just keep trying to improve.

Just my $0.02 worth.

Grazie wrote on 6/6/2012, 1:44 AM
I don't know about you, I wouldn't promote myself with that video in this business, that's for sure.

Now we have it! - OK, his work on his main website is fit for purpose. I could argue several cuts and and some dodgy B-Roll, but on the whole, of the 3 samples I viewed of work for his Clients, yeah, I can see why they like it. I liked the restaurant one. Nice use of camerawork and editing.

I think, Dave, what might be useful for you is to realise that people expressing about their OWN business are far more positive and engaged than "another" business - even if that biz is a partner. Why should they "big-up" a company that could be engaged by one of their competitors?

What's it you want from us, Dave?


farss wrote on 6/6/2012, 1:47 AM
Not a great piece of work.
Still if they can get the work and make a nickle on it then they have to be doing something right. I've found it easy to go overboard with a lot of clients and scare them off. It's not just the dollars, no matter how low your price once you start talking about what it takes to produce a great commercial many people's eyes just glaze over.

FrigidNDEditing wrote on 6/6/2012, 2:06 AM
Certainly agree with some of those points Duncan, but once you realize how much they do not reflect the image you want as a standard of service, would you use it to promote yourself? or would you change it and make something better? In my mind, when you do something for yourself, promoting yourself, that should be your best, your top tier, or your saying that in a visual and auditory world, you don't actually value quality or you don't value yourself. Neither one of those things makes me think that they're a good company to hire, regardless of the words spoken by their existing customers. Not to mention that many of the sound bytes sound like there was never more than one take done to give the talent better direction or help them clarify their own thoughts and refine their statements.

As for hoping that people aren't out there tearing apart your work, that is the price of putting it online honestly, as soon as someone can see it/share it/etc... you are at the mercy of public opinion and people are going to talk about it publicly. It's not like we're sitting here, telling someone a bunch of hurtful things that made a video for their family reunion. This guy is actively selling his services and promoting himself as better with a video that looks like this. Am I seriously the only one who sees the comedy in this?

I'm very slow to make these kinds of comments publicly about anyone usually, however... This video was poorly done and is a mistake to use in a public way, it has bad composition, bad audio (or at least bad mixing), bad directing during the shoot or lack of directing entirely, and it would seem there was very limited effort put into the overall piece while in editing.

If you're honest you're not going to disagree, I'm not walking up to him and telling him he's bad and should quit, I'm saying it is funny when people produce this for their own promotional materials and that is the quality they produce and all the while they're saying they're better. It just boggles my mind a little. It almost makes it worse that he's been able to produce better content, but this is what he made for himself ( going back to how he values visual/audio quality ), maybe he's unable to discern the difference between good and bad, but then when you see it, it seems you should be able to and be able to make it better rather than leaving it out there. Or at least make some sort of explanation for the lack luster appearance.

Byron K wrote on 6/6/2012, 3:55 AM
I've seen much worse on commercial broadcast tv commercials which made me wonder how much the client paid for that stuff! I'm talking about blown out colors, bad lighting and cheezy titling.

Sometimes it makes me wonder why people spend so much money on commercials when most of them are junk and even the good ones don't keep my interest.

BTW the Days Inn part about the 30 beer bar and 34oz mug sparked my interest... so I guess the commercial accomplished what it set out to do! ((;
FrigidNDEditing wrote on 6/6/2012, 4:54 AM
Many commercials on TV are not paid for, they're given free for buying enough ad space, and they're production value is about equal with their cost. I agree.

ushere wrote on 6/6/2012, 5:34 AM
as dave points out - you usually get what you pay for.....

with video you should be able to judge prior to paying what you're likely to get, and if that doesn't deter you, then you probably wouldn't know a golden globe from a cannon ball.

i never ceases to amaze me that lots of cheesy fx and loud, fast paced vo's seem to have some sort of fatal attraction to builders, car sales, and anything aimed at late night / early morning shoppers. perhaps in the hope of waking them up?

personally, 'i like to watch'.....

grazie willl know where that line comes from ;-)
JJKizak wrote on 6/6/2012, 6:47 AM
Then maybe they let those people stutter, grope for words on purpose to show that they are real and not actors.
Rory Cooper wrote on 6/6/2012, 7:18 AM
The fumbling and stutter would be equivalent to cutting to a suppository image for “action upload” but hey in today’s market place that might just work.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 6/6/2012, 7:31 AM
The video isn't for us, it's for someone who wants to know why clients like the company. If it were a fake video then that wouldn't help get clients.

Before President Obama got elected you could count the stutters, random pauses and "uh's" on a dozen hands per speech. Nobody seemed to care, and that was the President.

No matter how the video looks, happy clients sell more then a slick video. His clients are happy, they feel the work he does helps them and they're willing to tell others.

Can we see the self-promotional video on your site Dave, cor comparison? Or anyone else's on the forum?
paul_w wrote on 6/6/2012, 8:41 AM
There is no real problem here although some of the dialog could have been cut and trimmed to remove dead space, like 'umm...'.
Its a collection of testimonials from happy customers. That's all it is. Its not an actual advert other than letting people know, who don't already know the company, know that clients are happy so far with their work. It would be more illuminating to see their actual output before judging i think. Not a great video, but i can see its purpose.

Guy S. wrote on 6/6/2012, 1:03 PM
<<tell me if you think you'd hire them for your business based on this>>

If I needed a video and there were no better options that fit my budget then maybe, if the price was right.

Folks tend to make assumptions - "If it looks expensive then it must be expensive", for example. If I'm a business owner looking for a low dollar video then I'd likely call the company whose demo reel looked like it might fit my budget.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 6/6/2012, 1:44 PM
Or, more likely, you'd call a company others around you liked.
Former user wrote on 6/6/2012, 3:06 PM
Let's face it, based on their camera and tripod on their site, they're not representing that they're a high end production company. I know of a LOT of businesses that would be happy with these guys because they can probably afford them and there would be more polish than if they were to do it themselves.

That said, let's consider a critical factor here: they're in Fargo. Fargo is a nice little city. It's a college town with its own personality. But if you were to bring in Madison Avenue agencies and ask them what a :30 would cost, most of these guys clients wouldn't pay for or couldn't afford craft services for that shoot.

Is their stuff crap? Well, yeah, if you're buying a superbowl ad.

The expectation is for adequate video, not DDB, Omnicom or MDC. It's "Action Upload." In Fargo. I'm okay with that.

ps: the second guy in the testimonial reel left me in stitches...he's so self aware, and correcting himself...but the mumbling at the end of his piece just kills me. :-D
(and I only laugh because I've had shot interviews like that, and have had to try to make something from it)
rmack350 wrote on 6/6/2012, 6:18 PM
Decades back a friend of mine was presenting his reel for guild membership consideration. The turned him down. Their feedback was that if he had shown them less, and only his best, they would have accepted him.

I think you're better off showing a little of your best instead of a lot of your just passable work. When you include the poor quality stuff you show that you can't tell the difference. If you're in a low budget market then you show things that look inexpensive but not cheap.

farss wrote on 6/6/2012, 6:34 PM
"the second guy in the testimonial reel left me in stitches...he's so self aware, and correcting himself"

And that to me says the production company / producer or whoever is clueless.
Indeed the man on the street can have mutliple panic attacks talking to a camera. That's why you get them to talk to a person.
I've been there, shot that and I was amazed at how well almost anyone can talk and what they'll talk about. All it takes is someone off camera who knows how to put people at ease and open up. To me that second guy look like he was trying to read an autocue and failing.

Laurence wrote on 6/6/2012, 9:34 PM
You know what I admire about these guys? A few years ago I was right around the same level of skill and quality, but I wasn't making any money at it. I expect that they will learn and improve over the next few years, and all the way along they are being paid. There's something to be said for that.
DrLumen wrote on 6/6/2012, 10:25 PM
I think I get what Dave is saying. I'm not a technical expert and not a pro at doing this stuff but I have no doubt I could do better than most of that. Would I pay someone for something like that? No way. It has me seriously considering starting a business.

Like with the second guy, why not at least move him out of his dark basement to do a quick interview? Would that have been so hard? Would a desk or table lamp break their budget? Or were they just being lazy? We got a good, albeit dark, shot of their suspended ceiling though. I'm curious if anyone would actually buy product or services from the mumbler if that is representative of the video ads that he uses.

The company's customers and the saying by PT Barnum definitely comes to mind.


Keith B

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JJKizak wrote on 6/7/2012, 6:39 AM
That was great.
Rory Cooper wrote on 6/7/2012, 6:49 AM
Chicken ad from my side of the world

Steve Mann wrote on 6/7/2012, 8:48 AM
"The company's customers and the saying by PT Barnum definitely comes to mind."

If you're referring to "There's a sucker born every minute" - P.T. Barnum never said that. (It was, in fact, a newspaper reporter calling Barnum the sucker after he (Barnum) bought the Cornith Giant).

I am afraid that most of you are missing the point of the OP. The customers are getting the product they want at a price they can afford. Can we do better? Probably. Definitely. But can the clients afford it?
paul_w wrote on 6/7/2012, 10:48 AM
Exactly. Their customers are happy. End of. Not defending the dodgy editing, but who are we to say 'no, you don't want that' when actually they probably do because of price.