Campaign Fails
When Video Goes Wrong

Video can be a fantastic medium to communicate your message to your audience and help achieve your campaign goals.

Did you know that including video in a landing page can increase conversion by 80%, or that using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boosts the open rates by 19%? 80% of users recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days, and 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others.

However, video only works well as an engagement tool when it's done right. Conservative leadership candidate Kelly Leitch recently released a new campaign video that is attracting a lot of negative attention online.

Putting her protectionist, Islamophobic message and awkward attempts at being a personable, likeable character aside, this video is an absolute blunder. Some media outlets have gone so far as describing it as "a rambling eight-minute car-crash of a campaign video".

Here are our notes on what went wrong with Leitch's latest campaign video:

The production quality is incredibly poor

The pacing, blocking and editing is all off. Did you notice how in the first 20 seconds of the video, she shifts from the left side of the frame to the right, all without leaving her desk? The camera pans strangely across the room, and then abruptly cuts to close up shots of Leitch's face.

Sometimes she is looking directly into the camera making eye contact with the viewer, while other times she appears to be making eye contact with someone off-screen. The lighting is inconsistent.

Vice's Drew Brown sumed it up best when he described the video as having "the innocent touch of a first year videography student doing a class project on how to make the camera focus good."

"[Leitch's video] has the innocent touch of a first year videography student doing a class project on how to make the camera focus good."

Drew Brown, VICE

This video shows us that when you don't invest in the right people with the right expertise and tools for the job, you get poor results.

It's over 8 minutes long

Nearly two-thirds of consumers prefer video under 60 seconds, so producing an effective video means delivering you message to your audience quickly. 5% of viewers will stop watching a video after 1 minute, and 60% of users will drop off after 2 minutes.

Leitch's video may be an exception to this rule, only because of the "I can't help but watch a train wreck" effect.

It doesn't work without sound

500 million people watch videos on Facebook every day, but 85% of videos viewed on Facebook are watched without sound. We're not suggesting that you listen to over 8 minutes of Leitch's Islamophobic rambling about tougher screening for immigrants and refugees, but if she wanted to get her message across more effectively she could have included captions in her video.

In a nutshell, if you're looking to produce a video for your digital marketing, be sure that you invest in the right people with the right expertise and tools for the job. Make sure your video is short and concise, and is designed with digital advertising in mind.

Compare & Contrast

If you want to check out a great example of video that is the polar opposite of Leitch's and follows the recommendations above, below is a video that was produced by MP Kennedy Stewart. We helped Kennedy use video in his Anti-Kinder Morgan digital campaign.

Kennedy's video—focused on a local BC issue—has been viewed over 204,000 times, and shared almost 1,800 times on Facebook. You can read more about our work with Kennedy here:



Ryan Vandecasteyen
About Ryan Vandecasteyen
Ryan is Van City Studios' chief strategist and design expert.
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When Video Goes Wrong
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