October 16, 2015
 Posted by Thien A. Pham

3 Reasons Why Video Projects Fail

According to Forbes, video advertisement accounted for 4.6 billion dollars a year in 2014. Companies understand videos are essential and are actively communicating messages to their core audience through the use of videos. However, not all videos are created equally and producing a successful video project is not simply about the equipment you use or the amount of money you spend.

As a full service production company, we’ve worked on many successful projects, from concept development to postproduction, in more than 15 different ethnic markets. While we, thankfully, haven’t encountered complete disasters, we have to admit there have been a few projects that weren’t as successful as we had hoped. Here are 3 reasons why a video project fails, and all of them are easily avoidable.

1. Vision is bigger than your budget
Who doesn’t want to produce a TV commercial that is phenomenal both in scale and in budget, like this Guinness Beer commercial? Truth is, we can’t produce it on a shoestring budget. We understand when a client comes to us, they have goals and visions. Our job is to listen to them carefully and gently inject them with a healthy dose of reality so that they can truly understand what we can actually achieve with the time, resources and budget available.

Setting the right expectations and recognizing the constraints during the development phase can often yield surprising results. When we developed the concept for this Chinese “BEC Royal” TV commercial, our client was happy that the script called for a child actor and wanted to involve her in many scenes. However, since we could only have her on set for 4 hours each day according to industry regulations, we had to cut her lines tremendously. As a result, our child actor had more time to deliver each line, which ended up working very well with the pacing of the commercial.

2. Insufficient project requirements
In order to achieve the emotional connection with your target audience, you need to have an impactful message, which can be accomplished by having clear project requirements. Video projects are journeys and project requirements are roadmaps. When you know the desired result, you can focus on finding the best way to get there.

Many times, clients are more focused on selling, causing their project requirements to be filled with information about their product and what they want to highlight. In order to ensure a successful campaign, you also need to clearly define what you want your audience to feel or how to react after watching your video. No one wants to be sold to but if you produce a video that viewers can relate to, you don’t have to. And remember, the message in your video that ultimately counts is the one that is received well and interpreted clearly by viewers.

3. Working with a wrong creative partner
Choosing the right creative partner, in this case a production company, is essential for a successful campaign. The right creative partner will understand every little detail about what you want to achieve and will seamlessly guide you through the entire process. Just because they have a great looking portfolio does not mean they are the right partner for your specific project.

Our clients range from global brands to creative agencies to small businesses and the first question they all ask us is, “How much will this video cost me?” The way a production company answers this question is a good indication of whether it is a good creative partner for your video project. At Sunrise Seagull Productions, we see that question as an opportunity to ask more questions. We want to know what you want to achieve, who is your target audience, what is your message, etc. After all, your final video will not be unique if it’s quoted as a preset package rate, the same like any other project. So vet your partner by voicing your concerns, asking for suggestions, and listening to their questions. The more comfortable you are with each other, the higher the chance of success.

These are the three most common reasons why a video project fails and recognizing them is a big first step towards success. If your projects failed because of reasons other than these three, please share them in the comment below.

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