How to avoid the “Department of Finance Graduate” video fiasco

Hey readers,

If you haven’t seen it yet, a Department of Finance Grad Program recruitment video has made headlines around Australia the last couple of days but for the worst reasons. With headlines from major news networks…

This hilarious Department of Finance video may be the worst government ad ever” – SMH
Finance Department spends thousands on ‘excruciating’ recruitment video” – ABC
This Department of Finance recruitment video is the most awkwardly hilarious ad ever” – SBS

…you know you’ve done something wrong. We aren’t here to point out what’s wrong with the video, it should be very clear if you’ve seen it.

We’re here to run you through 3 tips to help avoid a mess like this!

1. Hire some professional actors!

Staff can be great on camera, especially when being interviewed and talking about what they do, but they aren’t actors and the wooden performances given in this video are evidence of that.

2. Don’t attempt to tick every box!

“Paleo pear and banana bread” sounds like a line from the comedy duo Bondi Hipsters not a Government grad recruitment video. We assume this was included not as a joke (though it sure made us laugh!) but as a way of ticking boxes to make everyone feel included.

When you start removing the human element and exchange natural dialogue for poorly scripted “box ticking” dialogue you make the characters feel fake and subsequently the audience won’t connect with them. That’s the last thing you want.

3. Listen to your video team!

You’ve hired a video production team to execute a project for you and they’re coming up with suggestions; listen to them, they’re professionals and do this for a living.

Let the director direct, and allow the team to have input into the script. Most scripts require work and massaging to refine them and it’s best to leave this to the team you’ve hired for the job. If you don’t allow them any creativity, well the proof is in the pudding as they say.

The Poached Egg team!