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This article was published on April 10, 2011

5 videos of businesses using YouTube the wrong way

5 videos of businesses using YouTube the wrong way
Danny Wong
Story by

Danny Wong

Danny Wong is the co-founder of Blank Label (an award-winning luxury menswear company). He is also a marketer-at-large for Conversio (an all Danny Wong is the co-founder of Blank Label (an award-winning luxury menswear company). He is also a marketer-at-large for Conversio (an all-in-one ecommerce marketing dashboard), Tenfold (a modern phone intelligence platform) and Big Drop Inc. (a web design and development agency). Want to connect? Reach him through his website.

YouTube is one of those hit-or-miss marketing channels because your video could see viral success overnight, or it could consistently see 2 views each day.

I have written about 5 Awesome Videos of Businesses Leveraging YouTube before, but now want to highlight five awful videos in which businesses use YouTube the wrong way.

For each one, I’ve offered some advice on how it could be improved.

How To Get Insurance

From CheapInsuranceforCar.com, this video has only seen 147 views to-date (last updated 9 April 2011). It’s nothing more than the most obvious advertisement in the world with the most obvious things happening in the video. There’s no element of surprise, nothing that is striking to the viewer or worthwhile for sharing. There’s not even a valuable message that couldn’t be offered elsewhere. The fact that the video was just published about 2 weeks ago still doesn’t excuse the fact that the video has only received 61 views. The first few days are when a video will see most of the hits it will ever see in its lifetime.

A better video, considering the title, could be a quick, easy-to-digest summary of how to get car insurance, noting CheapInsuranceforCar.com at the end, perhaps with price comparisons of their average insurance quotes versus their competitors, encouraging visitors to turn to them for their car insurance. While this video might not go viral, it will at least be a valuable resource for those who are interested in knowing how to get car insurance, which may get shared amongst small best friend circles who want to help each other out in keeping in-the-know about some of the more important aspects of life.


There’s clearly something wrong when you label your video as a viral video. At 1863 views to date (as of 9 April 2011), that’s certainly not a viral video, and the video description goes to say that sex sells, and in some cases it does, for some businesses, sex does not work as a marketing tool, and it clearly has not worked for this guy “Vinny” who’s looking to bring on clients interested in creating viral videos with REAL women and REAL locations. Did I forget to mention everything is REAL?

Perhaps, to make this work, they could have presented a video, advertising a product, proving that sex sells if the viewer wants to buy the product that the sexy lady is helping to sell, and then noting at the end that the video was made by ViralVideoIntros.com, a service provider that can help you in creating some of the sexiest videos that will go viral and sell tons of product. That’s a less direct way of selling their service, first showing the quality of their service when applied to an actual product, and then explaining their actual offering.

Viral video: What is that smell?

Again, we see the problem with people on YouTube marking their videos as viral. In this video, we see a cute, simple ad for products for vaginal discomfort. With just 570 views (as of 9 April 2011), you can’t call this a viral video either, although I am a bit surprised with how corny the messaging is and, with the abundance of young immature men, guys didn’t spread this to their 50 other bros who could get a quick laugh out of it.

For this video to sell more viewers, it could add a bit of explanation of what makes the product so special, such that it can help women, far better than anything else offered, with their personal problems. Vague promises don’t sell anyone, education and facts do.

Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

This video took the advertising world by storm when it popped up as a commercial everyone wanted to see, then went viral on YouTube capturing millions and millions of views. But while it became a viral success, it went overboard by creating more videos using the ever-popular Old Spice guy to talk in short clips about some of the random things in this world and in his environment, not to mention personalised messages to viewers. At that point, Old Spice was providing more entertainment value than anything, because the ads concentrated more on fun and games than providing reasons why people should buy Old Spice.

While those extra videos were for engagement purposes, for people to have fun with the brand rather than the brand always trying to sell something to consumers (and those videos were successful in that respect), the videos as proper advertisements for Old Spice just didn’t work. What could have made them better would have been if they consistently inserted other Old Spice products and reiterated the idea that Old Spice products would make you a better man.


This is just another cheesy self-plug, selling home security products. The poor video quality, the very biased endorsement, and the infomercial feel without the sophistication of a real infomercial, makes me feel like someone’s trying to sell me something and isn’t doing a very good job at it, which is in fact true. While this video has had a decent viewing at 6,275 views (as of 9 April 2011), it certainly hasn’t seen viral success and might be comparable to getting a nice PR hit in a well-sized outlet for your company. However, those visitors would probably be turned off by how cheap the video feels and how it’s lacking any real substance because it basically tells you that you need home security and you can create a whole home security system using BOCS’ system.

This video could have been improved with genuine testimonials from people who have used BOCS’ system – stories of burglaries and violence being prevented or stopped. The video script could also be toned down a bit to sound a little less excited about BOCS’s home security system and perhaps state more scary facts about homes without security systems; talking to people’s emotions, telling them they really need to buy whole home security without actually saying that.

Education, demonstration of the power of your product, and emotional excitement are some of the better marketing tactics today. Including these elements into your video content can be a powerful way of getting your viewers (even if it doesn’t go viral) to buy into your product or service.

Do you have any other suggestions for ways to make these videos better?

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