Surprising Video Marketing Lessons From 90’s Sleeper Hit ‘Clueless’

Videos are meant to show—rather than tell—the highlights of your brand, so put enthusiasm and creativity into your video marketing efforts with these key lessons from Clueless!

Think back to your high school days.

Do you recall a time when your English teacher announced that the class was scheduled to read a very long essay, play or book. If so, there’s a good chance you, and some of your classmates, let out a collective sigh. From reasons ranging from outdated language to way too much already on your plate perhaps you turned to Cliff’s Notes, or a video, to get yourself up to speed.

This scenario plays itself out in a surprise sleeper hit that became the 32nd highest-grossing film of 1995 and developed a strong cult following thereafter. Twenty years ago, the movie “Clueless” defined a generation. It was the definitive film for pretty much any adolescent of the 90s.


Source: The Washington Post


The central character, and heroine, Cher gets into an unexpected squabble with her ex-stepbrother’s bookish date Heather, regarding the ownership of one of Shakespeare’s Hamlet most quoted scenes:


Heather: It’s just like Hamlet said, “To thine own self be true.”

Cher: Hamlet didn’t say that.

Heather: I think I remember Hamlet accurately.

Cher: Well, I remember Mel Gibson accurately, and he didn’t say that. That Polonius guy did.


Cher completely owns the situation, bringing her condescending counter to embarrassment, all with the help of the film version, actor Mel Gibson’s rendition, of Hamlet’s written prose.


So, what can we learn from Cher, and from our teenage homework habits of yesteryear? When it comes to retaining stories and ideas, most prefer to take the easier, more entertaining route and view video content as opposed to written text.


To Thine Own ‘Video’ Be True

With reports projecting that video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017, it would be wise for your company to jump on the audiovisual bandwagon.

The look and feel of your company’s website is of different, but equal importance to the content it provides. You might be selling the world’s greatest product, but if the UX (i.e. user experience) isn’t up to par and design elements (or lack thereof) aren’t compelling, you will lose ample opportunities to drive your brand message home.

Source: Giphy
Source: Giphy

Visual representations of your brand, as well as eye-catching details, will compel visitors to stay on your site to see what more you have to offer. Including video on a landing page is one sure-fire way to entice a click and induce engagement, a strategy that many companies have smartly adopted and continue to enact.


Surfing the Audiovisual Wave

Not all online videos will be winners. However, there are a few factors will dictate the production of a successful marketing video. Here’s a look at three key video production principles:


  • Clear focus.

    Your video content must be planned with a clear focus and targeted audience in mind, as there’s certainly no one-reel-fits-all economization available.

  • Call to action.

    The video shouldn’t stand alone, and certain features should accompany the embedded video. Whether it’s an enticing textual CTA or a freeze frame of a great moment within the video, there are a number of factors that can increase the likelihood of inviting users to hit play.

  • Keep it short.

    Also be sure to keep tabs on the length of your video; few people have the time (or attention span) to be inundated with heavily detailed and long drawn-out videos. Try your best to keep it as short as possible while keeping the most important details intact and supremely visible.

If you’re worried about the costs associated with creating branded online video content, don’t be. Advances in video technology have made it easier than ever for you to get in the game. You don’t necessarily need to employ the services of a creative ad agency or digital marketing experts.

There’s a vast network of freelancers waiting and ready to help you actualize your online video ideas, such as Fiverr and Freelancer. Additionally, new advancements in video collaboration will allow you to track your works in progress with all team members working on your video, ensuring that your vision is being adequately expressed and maintained in the editing room.



Now that you’re convinced video marketing is the way to go, what is it that you intend to capture on film? A million and one options are at your disposal, including but not limited to tutorials, company activities, a product in action or a service at work.

Videos are meant to show—rather than tell—the highlights of your brand, so put enthusiasm and creativity into your video marketing efforts! Make your brand proud and keep your audience engaged. Create a video initiative that you yourself would enjoy watching, and potential customers will inevitably follow suit.

As Cher would say, “like… duh!”


This article has been edited and condensed.

Inbal Voitiz is an executive post-production producer and Co-Founder of LookAt, where she is focused on creating a revolutionary collaborative tool for video professionals so that brilliant and inspiring videos can easily come to life. Connect with @Go_LookAt on Twitter.


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