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How to shoot great product videos


The clue is in the name! Product videos focus on a brand’s tangible product(s) and highlight each of its benefits and features. They are an extremely focused form or marketing video and we wish that every product had its own dedicated product video. Why? They allow a product to shine and showoff, and most importantly they drive sales from customers.

A product video must look fantastic; a polished product video will attract attention from your target audience and engage them with your product. Producing a great product video is possible on a small budget and in this article we’re sharing our top product videography tips.

What is a product video?

“A product video explains and visually exhibits a product’s tangible benefits. It inspires viewers to give the product their attention and motivates them to make a purchase.”

The purpose of product videos

A great product video does two key things:

  1. Showcase the product’s key features (E.g. slim, lightweight design of a tablet)
  2. Explains the benefits of the product and its ability to solve problems or challenges (E.g. makes it more portable and convenient to use)

When a product video addresses both of the above in a compelling way, a brand can be assured that its product is showcasing its full potential accurately and the viewers feels and trusts that the product is a good match for them. Ultimately, a great product video will drive consumer demand and product sales.

Product video videography tips

Videography tips to make a great product video

A successful product video stems from high quality production value and expert level product videography skills. So, whilst we highly recommend collaborating with an experienced video production team to ensure your product videos look professional it is possible to shoot your own product video. Before we explain how to shoot professional looking product videos lets look closer at what makes a great product video.

The story: What are you showcasing and why? Obviously, the viewer wants to know all about your product and get a good look at it from all angles, but what they really want to know is why they need it and how it will fit into their life. Ensure you cover both sides of the story and before you move to production plot every frame in a video storyboard.

Set styling: Design a set that compliments and enhances your product rather than detracts from it. Keep all focus on your product and map out how it will look from a variety of angles in your video storyboard. Many brands choose a plain white or black background in their product videos but the choice is yours. If you want your backdrop to appear darker or infinite simply move your subject closer to the light source and create more contrast and focus on the details of the product. 

Types of product video shots: Keep the viewers interest by mixing up your product shots, however, avoid too much zooming and panning as this can make for queasy viewing, instead cut between shots and match the tempo of these to your narrative or soundtrack. Do you need to shoot your product in use or in a relevant context? In your storyboard plot out the type of product shots that will add value to the viewer, drawing attention to product details rather than the composition of the shot.

Camera movement: Your main objective as the product videographer is to capture the details of the product, do this with close macro shots and smooth movements of your camera. Try using a slider to movement your camera around the product or set, of if you don’t have one place your camera on a blanket to absorb any shock. Incorporating movement like this will make your product video feel professional.

Lighting: Great product videography needs effective lighting to ensure the product video looks glossy and professional. A softbox light is a great tool for product videography, position it above your product to create a flattering glow, if you don’t have the budget for this try positioning your product by a window or use your cellphone light to cast a glow on your product. Before you start shooting your product video please research and practise key video lighting techniques. (link to FC blog)

Detail reveal: When filming a product video you can swivel the light source to reveal an interesting product detail. Simply move or alternate the light source on different areas of the product as you film, keep the movement slow and smooth for a high quality effect.

Voice over: Many great product videos incorporate a voiceover; they work really well narrating the product features and benefits as the camera focuses in and between them. Voiceover can add a layer of empathy and relatability to your product video too. Read our tips to understand more about great voiceovers and how to produce a professional one for your video. 

Animated text: A popular alternative or supplement to voiceover is featuring text in your video. Treat this like a script but be very concise and try just a handful of words on each frame so that you keep focus on your product. Consider hero adjectives that highlight key features (E.g. waterproof). Animated text is added post-production and should be planned for during the storyboard phase to ensure a well-structured product video.

Background music: Whether your product video has a voiceover or not adding background music can enhance its overall impact and mood. Choose music to reflect the emotion you are trying to evoke and for more tips read our how to soundtrack a video article.

Video length: Keep your video short and compelling so that it will be watched for its entire duration. Ninety seconds is usually the most effective length, although if a video is less than 60 seconds then 68% of viewers will watch it all the way through. Be concise and stick to the details you know your target audience will love.

Great product video examples

When we think of great product video examples Apple is one obvious brand that comes to mind. Their products typically have a ton of features to shout about and they are not only narrated well they are showcased in a visually stunning and fluid way. Often their products videos come in an extended version of a couple of minutes which are then edited down for use on various mediums.

Watch the Apple iPad Pro video below which was released in 2018 and get inspired for your next product video.

Another global brand we admire for their fantastic product videos is Nike. They have a huge fan base and their customers are really interested in the detail and story behind their products, which means they don’t hold back with their product videography. The Nike KD12 YouTube Sneaker product video predominantly focuses on the style and design of the product.

The above video shows the sneaker from a variety of angles and close ups amidst cool, flashing lights and an edgy electronic soundtrack. At the bottom of the screen a text bar of subtitles highlights the key features of the product, but the real focus is on the aspirational product design.

How can a product video be used?

Product videos can be featured on any social media platform or a website’s home page, specific product page or dedicated landing page. Shorter edits of your product video can also be used in online advertising as part of your video marketing strategy to attract new customers to your website.

Product videos are a really effective marketing tool for new product launches. If you have an exciting new product launching soon why not produce a fantastic video for it and feature it everywhere a potential customer may be ready to discover your brand online or offline.

How to shoot a product video in 6 steps

Follow the below product videography tutorial steps and learn how great products videos are made:

  1. Define your video brief: What key product features do you want to show? Who are your target audience(s)? Where will your video be used? What’s your budget? Do you want to appoint a video production agency?
  2. Create a video storyboard: Plot out your story frame by frame and play about with the sequence of them. The purpose of this step is to ensure you capture every shot you need of your product. 
  3. Write a script: Will your product video have a voiceover or animated text in the frames? Will it be a bit of both? Write a concise script to support your video storyboard and describe your product’s key features and their relevance to the consumer or cent.
  4. Design and build a product video set: Take time and care to create a set and backdrop that puts your product into focus. Practise different lighting techniques and positioning of the product and capture test shots until you feel you’re doing your product justice.
  5. Shoot your product video: Capture each product shot and watch them back as you go to ensure you are capturing the desired look and feel. Keep movements smooth and ensure the product detail is clear and compelling.
  6. Edit to perfection: Now is the time to add the finishing touches such as voiceover, background music and/or animated text. Piece your product story together frame by frame and make it as compelling as possible in less than 90 seconds.

Let’s create a standout product video

Are you ready to showcase your product(s) in a bespoke, fantastic product video? From conception to completion our creative video team will collaborate with you to create a standout product video. Fresh Cut are a leading video production company helping brands tell their stories on TV and online since 2006. With studios in Leeds, Manchester and London we are proud to work with brands and budgets of all sizes. Take a look inside our fantastic portfolio of creative video content and get in touch with our talented team to discuss your next video project.