How to Demo Product on Video (without the Hard Sell)

There is a technique for demonstrating product on-camera. In my TV/film industry, it’s called “playing your action towards the lens”.

If the camera can’t see the action that you are performing within the frame, neither can your viewer. It simply did not happen.

Subtle does it

Here, I am shooting a product video, but without a hard sell. You’ll notice that I do not draw attention to the product, but instead move it in a subtle way so that the labels or brand play out towards the camera (the viewer) thus still achieving the goal of brand awareness.

Don’t pull a Ricky Bobby

You’d be surprised at how many people fumble or simply forget how to use their hands once the camera is trained on them. I call this pulling a “Ricky Bobby” (watch the movie Talladega Nights and you’ll see what I mean at time code: 0.36). Or worse, their movement becomes contrived. “Look at me holding my products!”, or the movements are sporadic and non-specific.

Ever had someone flap his or her hands right in front of your face? How did you feel about it? Annoyed? Since the camera stands in “as your viewer” you’ll want to avoid treating them that way for this important reason. Random, flappy, generalized hand movements can irritate and visually exhaust the viewer.

Each time you move, you are forcing their eyes to track what you are doing and search for meaning (a pre-wired evolutionary survival mechanism) behind your sporadic movement. Stop contributing to your viewer’s stress levels otherwise, you are simply priming them to unconsciously associate you and your brand with irritation and annoyance.

Takeaway

Move your hands with a clear purpose. Each deliberate action should drive the scene forward. Rehearsing your movements for the camera will save you from having to fix blunders in the edit and will make your video shoot run that much smoother.

With close shots on your hands – be sure that your hands, fingers, and nails are well groomed to avoid upstaging your product or shot. Super important if you are handling food or beauty, wellbeing related products/topics.

Stand out amongst the noise. Be a Pro, not an amateur! Rehearse your actions.  You’ll add a dash of sophistication and polish to your videos.

Read a little more on this topic + extra tips in this article: On-camera cheating techniques.

Cheering you with your video creations! Feel free to contact me if you need help with your video presentations, or if you have a burning question? I’m always listening!

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