Fantastic news! You can now eat a meal on a yacht! You can jump off it and swim – and to top it all you can even have a glass of champagne. Indeed potential buyers must be ecstatic at the sight of a free basket of Moulton Brown goodies that apparently comes with the purchase of one particular multi million-dollar yacht. This is the level of information coming out of the latest yacht films. As one viewer commented ‘why do I watch this crap’.

One could be forgiven for thinking these films are made entirely for billionaires who love watching the paint dry. Who are these people who suddenly wake up and think ‘today I iz a video director’? In a world of multi million-dollar yachts there is not ONE , well-made film that excites, engages and above all sells the yacht.

So why does it matter that these videos are not very good. Well, would you want to sell your Testarossa in ‘Cheap Charlie’s Car Emporium’? A dull online video is exactly that – a shabby showroom for a beautiful yacht. Mostly they are just unwatchable, but often embarrassingly cheesy. Video is one of the most exciting marketing tools available today. So using the ‘glossy’ brochure of the 20th century now just smells like the fish n chips it should be wrapping. But if you are going to take advantage of the marketing opportunities that the 21st century offers it’s vital to control the image of the product you are selling. So that as soon as your potential customer starts to research (and nowadays EVERYONE researches) everything they see is positive, informative, exciting and reflects the product’s luxurious quality.

Most videos miss the point of digital marketing and focus on selling the ‘what’ not the ‘why’. Endless footage of the yacht’s toys and scenes of the perfect ‘stock photo’ family drinking something with umbrellas in it tells us nothing, and crucially it isn’t compulsive viewing. In today’s world our attention is constantly diverted elsewhere so therefore to engage our audience a film must work harder than ever. Fail to entertain and inform, and you fail to sell.

So what are the ‘directors’ doing that’s wrong. To take advantage of the amazing marketing opportunity that the worldwide web creates it’s essential to understand your audience. Who is your viewer and how do you lock them in from the first second of viewing. The benchmark for any film whether it’s a documentary about an African tribe or a film selling a luxury yacht, is that the viewer wants to watch it! And once you have the viewer attention – you don’t let it go. In TV where I come from, the competition for viewers is ferocious. We have to know how to get information across in an entertaining way. Look at ‘Top Gear’ – a car show that reaches 500 million people with a 40% female audience. We know how to create the ‘takeaway’ – the water cooler moments that you remember long after the film is over.

Whilst in broadcast there is no room for poor skills it seems the opposite is true in yacht videos. In many cases the fault in the ‘yacht film’ lies in slow editing, terrible music, dull camera work and visual clichés. In the latest online yacht film my attention is lost by the over use of a ‘selfie’- not the coolest way to sell a $20m yacht. An amazing opportunity to create online films that work as selling tools for the yacht market is available to owner and brokers. But yet one more film telling you that its possible to swim off the back of a yacht is one film too many.

Every yacht has a history, a unique story that needs to be told. A story that speaks of the pride and the joy of ownership, the skills that went to build it and the pleasure and luxury it provides.