I’ve become enamored lately with the use of videos to promote one’s brand, whether personal or corporate.
Videos can be used for demonstrations, like the hilarious Will It Blend videos, for sharing information and expertise, like the BrandSwag TV videos I helped Kyle Lacy and Colin Clark produce, and corporate videos like the Bonefish Grill.
I like the fact that Bonefish Grill has embraced social media. Since we’re going to eat there tonight, I thought I would check out their social media footprint.
I found them on Foursquare, and learned they have a Twitter account (@bonefish) (hint: you should be following as many people as are following you: A 17:1,500 ratio looks like you don’t care what others have to say). From there, I found their Facebook page, and watched their latest video on making ceviche (above).
Like I said, I’m pleased to see that the restaurant is using social media with such thoroughness. I just have a little bone to pick with them.
Corporate Videos Should Not Look Corporate
Video marketers understand that anyone who is using corporate video should try to make it look a little more natural and less high end. Believe it or not, videos that look less slick and more homemade tend to perform better in marketing tests, number of viewers, and even virality. Even the Will It Blend videos, while the image quality is great, still has a homemade feel to it.
Videos that look professionally done have an air of artificiality about them, while the simple, basic video made with a Flip cam or a Droid or iPhone seem, well, sincere. This one looks like it’s part cooking show, part travel show, part commercial for Meyers Rum.
And that’s my biggest complaint about the Bonefish video: the overt use of Meyers Rum in the video, without ever telling us they’re a sponsor, supplier, or just good buddies of Tim’s. That’s where it really begins to smack of insincerity and artificiality.
Tim Curci and Rum Ambassador Robert Pallone squeeze in between several bottles of Meyers Rum to prepare some ceviche (awesome looking ceviche, mind you). Then at the end of the video, the bar owner brings out some rum runners with a little topper by Robert of, you guessed it, Meyers Rum.
Now, I understand that Bonefish sells Meyers, and that they (hopefully) asked Meyers to underwrite this little video in exchange for some placement (if they didn’t, they’re missing out on a great opportunity). However, regardless of the arrangement, it looks less natural and more forced when Meyers gets prominent placement without any explanation of why.
Don’t worry if they paid for the placement. You can tell us. No one is going to hold it against you. But it looks like you’re trying to hide it when you don’t mention why Tim and Robert are trying to avoid knocking over the display of Meyers bottles with their elbows.
If I had to grade their effort on this video, I would give it a C, but they get a whole bonus letter grade for being on social media so thoroughly. The only restaurant I know that has embraced it more is Scotty’s Brewhouse (@brewhouse) (Scotty, I’d love to see a variation of Bang Bang Shrimp on the menu.)
So, Bonefish Grill, you get a B for the video, because you’re firing on all the other social media cylinders.
And even though I wasn’t a fan of the video, I’m going to try my first-ever ceviche tonight. Assuming I don’t stuff myself on Bang Bang Shrimp first.
(Update: They didn’t have the ceviche tonight, so I had to resign myself to the Bang-Bang Shrimp and the fish tacos. Still a great meal. My prejudice against their videos does not cross over to their food.)