How to Make Sure No One Watches a Video

A beautiful animation starts a corporate video. It looks like an award winner for its producer and art director, with inspiring visuals and soaring music that resolve to the current sales theme – Opportunities for Growth.   Then company leaders are introduced to kick off each 5-6 minute program.

Only one minor problem . . . no one watched! Most of the internal audience lasted through the first program, but by the second in the series, half of the audience disappeared half of the 50 second intro had finished!

Critical Point-in-Time
This 10 video series was very important! The company had just gone private, spun off from a Fortune 100. These pieces announced some major changes that affected every job, explaining shifts in corporate plans, practice, and culture.   What to do now when the message is not reaching its target? The series was put on hold and we were brought in to rethink the project.

A huge store of video performance data guides our recommendations. Here’s what we know from analysis of more than 10,000 videos:

  • Today’s audiences have a short attention span
  • Get their attention in the first 10 seconds or they will leave
  • When users choose their own path, engagement time dramatically increases
  • Given a choice, 53% of users skip intros

During followup interviews, one viewer said, “Long intros are just corporate vanity. Why listen to an exec’s credentials when I can Google it!”

Simple Solution
We shot nothing new, simply reformatting the existing materials and wrapping them in an interactive shell.

We reduced the intro from a ponderous 50 to a snappy six seconds, after which a menu like this appears:

User choice substantially extends user engagement and message recall.

Once users have made a selection, the video chapters continue in sequence. If users pause at any time or if the sequence finishes the menu reappears.

Reformatting lifted average video views from 52 to 278 seconds, a 435% increase. That’s unusually high, with gains of 38-140% the normal range of improvement when interactivity is added to video.

More Typical Results
A more typical result is demonstrated in this video series where interactivity lifts engagement 46% over the same content delivered in linear fashion:–series.html

Interactivity transforms passive viewers to active and involved participants who stay longer and remember more.

Client: Medical diagnostic company with $500M+ revenue

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