The world of product videos is full of white backdrops, bland voiceovers, and pre-recorded jingles. In order to stand out among the rest, it helps to add a human touch to your video. What do we mean by human? Connecting to your audience through authentic storytelling, subtle imperfections, and a sense of wonder.
Draw From Personal Experience
Struggling to come up with a concept for your product video? A good starting point is to think of a time you used the product and found it particularly useful or powerful. What compelled you to use the product in the first place? What problem did it solve? Why did that moment leave such an impression on you?
Answer these questions and document this moment in detail. Describe the setting, the people you were with, the way you felt before, during, and after using the product. If you keep the descriptions rich and personal, chances are someone else will connect with that very same experience.
In this example, Google simply and expertly showcases intimate details and personal experiences to highlight how their product works. With overtones of romance and undertones of comedy, they tell the story of Parisian Love in the modern world, ending on a note of sentimentality that makes us tear up (and it's just their search bar).
Let the Product Speak for Itself
Not every product video needs to be endorsed by professional actors, shot on a lit soundstage, and infused with visual effects. Often times, the most magical moments come from using a product naturally.
If you're struggling to create a convincing product video, try shooting some footage of it being used by your actual customers in their natural setting. No games. No gimmicks. If you think that your product is particularly boring or dry, adding subtle motion graphics or visualizations on top of the footage can help.
Break a Rule or Two (or Three)
Everybody knows that humans are not perfect. Accidental mistakes while writing, shooting, or editing can sometimes add richness and character to your product video. We don't suggest intentionally changing your video for this purpose, but occasionally embracing mistakes can make for a product video that feels more natural.
Maybe that means breaking the rules of symmetry, adding an extra pop of color, or keeping that clip with a little too much camera shake. Touches like these set your video apart from the rest and will resonate more strongly with your audience.
In this spot for Tito's Vodka, Sigurd Culhane wanted to play off the brand's "Love Tito's" slogan by showing how their spirit can play as an ingredient in a tender moment between lovers. The handheld camera and unique framing allow this moment to feel imperfect, making it natural and warm.
Shooting a product video with real people in a natural setting doesn't mean that it has to be completely grounded in reality. People love wonder. Whether it's a TV show, a trip to Disneyland, or the oldest redwoods in the world, we love to immerse ourselves in environments that bring something new and unexpected to our day-to-day lives.
Add something to your video to create a sense of magical realism. Perhaps it's an unexpected spin on your original script, a quirky character in your cast, or a surprise cut during your video when your audience least expects it. Or perhaps it's placing your central characters in roles that the audience isn't expecting. Keeping people extra curious leads them to being engaged and delighted.
This Nike advertisement spotlights female Arab athletes, creating wonder from the first to the last. This ad was released earlier this year as part of their Equality Initiative and it is truly wonderful.
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