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Our 5 Biggest Online Video Pet Peeves

Alright, we’ve all got them. Those little things that people do that annoy us just a bit too much. And it isn’t limited to what we experience in real life…often times these are frustrating things we encounter online. Of course, I’m talking about pet peeves.

As a group of people that spend every waking breath entrenched in the video world, Demo Duck has a few online video pet peeves that, until this point, we’ve only discussed internally.

Well, enough is enough. We figure that it’s better to share our feelings with the world, rather than bottle them up until we implode. That’s why we wanted to take this opportunity to share our 5 Biggest Online Video Pet Peeves…and a little about why they bug us so …so…so, so much. (In all fairness, we’ve even produced some explainer videos that contain some of these pet peeves, because they aren’t that easy to avoid!)

1. Meet Bob Again

Look, we leverage use-cases in our explainer videos all the time, it’s a great way to convey the value of what you’re discussing. This usually means we’re following a sample user as they experience a certain piece of technology or new service for the first time.

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However, when the explainer video script introduces our main character, do we have to call him Bob? Please, give him another name. We actually refer to these character-centric use cases as “Meet Bobs” when chatting with clients but we do not actually call our character Bob. There’s plenty to choose from! (We hope none of you Robert’s out there take offense to this peeve).

2. This Is This

At one point, highlighting a few aspects of your company or product by repeating two words over and over was a fun way to move quickly through your list.

This is a pet peeve of ours.

This is a blog post.

This is a sentence.

This is getting old.

We get that repetition is a fun literary device and a quick montage helps keep viewers watching your online video. But so many people have done it that the “This Is [BLANK]” approach has become a bit of a tired technique.

3. Superhero Or Zero

Everyone wants to demonstrate how awesome their new technology is and often feel that can only be represented by a dude in a cape. Superheroes can achieve the unthinkable and can outperform any man (and usually machine), so drawing this connection makes sense….which is also why so many people do it.

Embodying your product or service through a superhero may feel like a cool way to show your value but fight your instinct, think on it a little more, and keep the cape in the closet.

4. The Script Oversell

Speaking of showing the value of your offering, let’s steer away from script cliches like “revolutionary”, “game changing”, or disruptive”. When people hear the same things over and over, they begin to lose meaning and these words have become hollow.

I know this pet peeve isn’t limited to the video space, but it’s too prevalent not to mention. So when it comes to your script, talk to the audience and don’t try to hard-sell them.

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5. UI Force Feeding

Excluding actual product screens in your video is tough, because your team worked so hard on creating them. We aren’t saying you shouldn’t have UI in there. In fact, a lot of our SaaS-focused projects show the platform at some point during the video.

However, when you have a beautiful animation on your hands maybe use some abstract or illustrated UI. Those videos that mix slick design with actual UI are confusing and hard to watch. Viewers often can’t focus on the important details of the full product screen and the important function you were trying to highlight gets lost.


It’s important to stay true to yourself, but maybe you can brainstorm some ways to avoid the cliches and pitfalls we see so often. Before I accidentally fall victim to one of my own pet peeves, I should get out of here. Have fun out there and hopefully you can make something truly disruptive…d’oh!

Written by Colin Hogan
Colin is the Managing Director at Demo Duck, a Chicago-based video production company, who has a deep obsession with making videos as often as possible. Follow Demo Duck on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.