Vanity press is referred more commonly to self-publishers. In the 18th and 19th centuries people would have books written about them or their families. The only people really interested in reading them would be friends and family, or those actually featured in the books.
So jumping forward to 21st century website video production, and sometimes a client wants a film that celebrates their business or personal success. The danger is a film that becomes quite egotistical and the only people who really enjoy watching are those featured in it.
In this situation it’s easy for us to give the customer exactly what they want, with a few emotive twists in the video production they could easily be moved with sentiment and delighted with the end product.
But will the video ‘work’ though? It depends who is meant to be watching the final film. If it was being shown on a big screen at a party to celebrate a 60th birthday, then it will get a fabulous reaction and be a great memento of the occasion. If it sits on a company website or Linked In or Facebook page then people may well share it for the wrong reasons- potential customers could be left with the feeling they are dealing with someone quite egotistical and to be avoided, or the film could simply be irrelevant.
But sometimes a personal reference in a film can give value. An optician mentioning they have a couple of kids (along with cutting to a family photo on the testing room desk) can say that they are confident dealing with youngsters and therefore build confidence in parents who are potential customers.
When making a film we will always be honest and guide customers the best we can. Not just because the film is to be a success for them but also despite us never putting a ‘Bellyflop.tv’ caption at the end of a video we make, the video represents us too.