The Absolute Worst Business Videos Of 2011 - The Sucky Video Award Winners


In the spirit of good-natured ribbing and constructive criticism, we asked you to help us find the very worst business videos of 2011 for our first-ever Sucky Video Awards (The Suckies). And you responded with some fantastic examples of video marketing gone wrong. Our panel of judges, including our founder Mark Robertson and Steve Stockman, have tallied the votes and the winning suckiest videos of 2011 are below.

Because our goal is always to provide some positive value and insight, we've also had a 'Reel' video production expert, Steve Stockman (author of "How To Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck"), provide some insightful analysis of the videos as well as actionable advice as to how they can avoid making sucky videos in 2012.

1. 2011's Worst Business Video - Strong: Rick Perry FAIL

Why This Video Sucks

Even leaving politics out of our analysis (Are any people in this country ashamed to admit they are Christian? Really?) this video richly deserves this year's Sucky.  (we also wrote about it last month - "Rick Perry's Viral Video Disaster – What Politicians Do Wrong On YouTube")

Our brains make sense of videos as a whole. As usual here, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. What your brain is reading that you may not consciously be aware of: Rick's jacket is brand new, and looks it, as does his shirt. His hair is perfect. The trees are super green, and the area around the candidate has been blurred. The entire scene screams FAKE. When someone in a highly artificial setting tries as hard as Perry does to sound sincere, the contrast is just a train wreck. Worse for him: Sincere is not what he does best. He's got a smirk in his eye even when trying to look concerned about those poor kids, persecuted as they try to celebrate Christmas.

We're certainly not the only ones that think it sucked.  I dont think I've ever seen such a sucky response on YouTube.

Tips & Advice for Better Video

  1. You get to choose what we see in your video. Sets, backgrounds and costumes deliver a message whether you want them to or not.
  2. Pay attention to how your talent looks on camera. Don't ask people to say things that they can't deliver credibly.

You won't be president any time soon, Gov. Perry, so please accept this award instead.

2. Find Local Dentists

[Video removed from YouTube]

Notes from Entrant:

Terrible music, unlicensed imagery, hard to read text and a confusing call to action. What are they thinking? (CJ Bruce)

Why This Video Sucks

Why doesn't it? When I screamed "Make it stop!" my family came running to make sure I was OK. The music made my teeth hurt, the graphics were hard to see. Even 47 seconds was 6 times too long.

Tips & Advice for Better Video

Since videos are supposed to communicate, why not test your video on a person or three whose opinions you trust? Let them give you some feedback on what they liked or were confused by, and when they were bored. Then change what isn't working the way you wanted it to. Of course, if anyone had done that on this project, we'd have no runner up for the 2012 Suckies.

3. Dianne Blais for Delegate

[Video removed from YouTube]
Notes from Entrant:

This candidate video was widely ridiculed in Virginia and yielded more video views (9,180) than votes for the candidate (4,121). Apparently being able to sing original schlock is not a sure-fire way to win an election. (Greg Letiecq)

Why This Video Sucks

Another political Sucky, this time proving it doesn't take a lot of money to make an awful political ad. Dianne's song about why she should be elected is either a knowing parody or an unknowing train wreck, and the strongest evidence points to the latter.

Tips & Advice for Better Video

In video, ideas are terrific, but execution is where the rubber meets the road. "Let's do a great song about my candidacy" is a creative idea. But first—is it a great song? Can you pull off the performance? Be realistic about your resources. Do only what you can do well. If you can't really sing and the song is awful, maybe you should put on your tan jacket and walk through the woods talking about religion instead. Or something. Bonus tip: Most of the time it's a good idea to point the camera at the candidate's face.

4. Hunters Estate Agents

Notes from Entrant:

A local estate agents in my home town thought they would make a video to show that they are approachable. However, ultra bad sound quality, stupidity and poor production values has put across the totally wrong message in a video that I would imagine damages their reputation and shows them to be a tinpot organisation, and not the type you would trust to sell or rent out your home. Even funnier is the fact that they thought the video was good enough to upload to the Internet with the sound issues and general rubbish-ness staring them in the face. Deluded is the word I'd like to use. (Peter Chapman)

Why This Video Sucks

It's obvious that these guys started without an idea, tried to find one on the menu of their editing program, and failed. And the only thing that could make this mélange of bad video and worse photography worse? A driving 80s-Porn music track.

Tips & Advice for Better Video Next Time

Pitch your video to yourself before you start making it. Can you sum up the idea in one clear sentence ("Customers talking to an interviewer about how easy we made their loans”) or is it unfocused and confused ("We'll tell them about our loans and our people and our office. Oh, and use some cool video effects.”)? Keep pitching until you get to clear and focused. This will also prevent your 45 second video from weighing in at 2:37 and being unwatchable. Bonus tip: Those special effects in your editing program? Don't use them. Just cut.

5. Choose the right Mentor and MLM Company

Notes from Entrant:

I think this video is so utterly bad. The English is far from good, it's boring and he's holding two dogs during the entire video!? I would never have been able to guess what kind of business he is doing if i just saw the video... (Johannes Andersson)

Why This Video Sucks

It's hard not to give the guy credit for using an external Microphone. But the sound is the only thing right in this video. It starts long before it really starts, with much rambling about dogs. Then, when he does get to the pitch, it's rambling and dull.

Tips & Advice for Better Video Next Time

Whether you're doing a standup pitch or a webcam rant, WRITE what you're going to say. Make sure it tells a story. Shoot it, and then CUT every single millisecond that's boring or off target.

Would doing that save this video? Perhaps not. But it would certainly be shorter—a major plus.

Make Sure Your Web Videos Don't Suck in 2012

Pick up a copy of my Steve Stockman's book "How to Shoot Video that Doesn't Suck”.  The book is all about the language of video and how to think like a director, regardless of equipment (amateurs think about the camera, pros think about communication).  Learn how best to how to tell a story and entertain your audience.  You can also read some of Steve's advice on, where we hope you'll be able to read more in the future (right Steve? ;-).

  • Rob Estes

    I know it's a bit late, but I found it!

  • Easy Explain Video

    huh, video no5 made me really sad. Is this guy really a marketing expert?

  • Ed Cohen

    Does No. 2 even qualify as video? It's more like a terrible PowerPoint.

  • Wayne Dorey

    OOO that smell.

  • Simon Crompton-Reid

    I love you guys. Largely because you didn't pick any of mine.Also because I've spent so long trying to find videos to illustrate some of my points about bad corporate video (one of my pet hates here: and here you've gathered so many great examples in one place!

    • Mark Robertson

      ahh those are some great ones you found. Thanks for the kind words

  • Grant Crowell

    Um, I think you would want to mention my original coverage in ReelSEO of the Rick Perry "Strong" video, yah?

  • Tim Danyo

    I must say this post really sucked! At least clip #5 had somewhat descent audio, but holding those two dogs like that was totally uncalled for! (animal cruelty lol!) Your point about being able to "sum up the video in one clear sentence" was good advice- even for us (hopefully) unsucky pro video makers.

  • Peter Olmstead

    It must have been hard to pick the worst videos on line. There are billions of suckie videos floating around. I appreciate the critical points. Thanks for not picking any of my videos.

  • Erin Niemela via Facebook

    there is nothing better than a cringeworthy business video.

  • Jonathan Santiago

    Unfortunately the one I voted for got taken down by the owner. Hopefully the owners will keep these ones up long enough for everyone to see them.

    • Mark Robertson

      I know and the one that you voted for was the best (it was the only one that was removed) because it was a "video production" company. It was hilarious and I wanted that to be a winner but it was removed and I couldnt find a copy anywhere....