Explaining ‘Simple’

An insurance client asked me to write an ‘explainer’ video about their new consolidated invoice.

Backstory:  The old invoice was confusing for customers who had multiple policies. That’s because it involved patching together data from legacy systems that used different billing and reporting formats. It looked like six different invoices taped together. It was ugly, and created way too many calls to customer service.

So after months of herculean effort, a special team figured out a way to integrate and simplify everything into one beautiful invoice.

The client provided me with a bunch of before-and-after examples, plus full documentation on what was changed, and why the customers would love it. I chewed on all that for a while.


My first mistake: I decided to go ultra-simple. If the bill was truly easy and straightforward, I figured it would be ironic to spend a lot of time ‘explaining’ it.

I opted to just shoot a ‘fly-over’ of the new bill, point to a few items, zoom in here and there, and be done.

About forty seconds, 97 words. Ding!  “Easy. Simple. Fast.”

I submitted. And waited. For three weeks.

I figured it was a misfire.

Behind the scenes (which I heard through a third party), they were initially disappointed. Ninth months of labor and all they got was 97 words. The team started re-writing, adding more explanations, backstory, before-and-after. Until someone pointed out no customer would care about any of that. They went with the original.

My mistake: I should have been more sensitive to the fact that they had spent months giving birth to this thing. I should have set up the premise with them beforehand, explained the rationale, pointing out it was their work that enabled all this simplicity.