I recently judged a national video production awards competition and was stunned at the judging criteria.
The categories I judged were videos for business purposes, so I figured the most important quality would be how well the video achieved its business purpose.
Wrong! “Effectiveness” counted for just 20% of the score.
Think about that. Clients paid to create these videos to achieve business outcomes, but how well the video did that was barely considered.
So, what was more important than effectiveness?
- 60% for technical quality – cinematography, colour grading, audio, video editing techniques.
- 20% for “impact” – essentially the power of the concept to move the viewer.
- 20% for effectiveness.
They’re essential criteria, of course, but that weighting is a relic of an awards program with its roots in the craft of cinematography, not strategic communications.
So were the videos any good?
Well, yes! There was some really outstanding work - beautifully conceived and created videos that hit the nail on the head for their clients. And some of those scored very highly for the technical aspects, so received top recognition.
But highly effective videos missed out because they weren’t technically demanding. Equally, technically beautiful works scored well despite having little going for them strategically.
I got used to being the odd one out among the judges! They were gracious, but we were on a different wavelength.
We’ve submitted and won awards from this organisation before. We didn’t submit this year, but we will probably do so again someday. Having seen the process from the inside, I now know that a video that has really kicked goals for our client is no more likely to win than a beautiful indulgence!
But that won’t change what we do. Here's an example of a video that ticks all the boxes for delivering the intended message.
Award-winning videos are not always those that do the best job for the client.
Are your videos delivering ROI? If not, get in touch with us and we will work with you to ensure that your video is strategy is in line with your business outcomes.