When is a product video more than a product video?

Recently, we had the opportunity to try something a little bit different: an online video for luxury linen designer Lili Alessandra. The company had contracted out for product videos before, but wanted us to find a way to do more than just showcase the newest line of bedsheets or highlight a new type of designer pillow. We shot some video and explored some different visual storytelling tactics to highlight both the product and the people who make it, but in the end, the company felt those tactics strayed too far away from the original intent of displaying the product. We were left with a dilemma: How can we create something above and beyond a typical product video without straying too far from the still images of the product that the client desired?


As it turns out, the answer was in the script. Whereas the client’s previous scripts focused on specific details about certain designs or descriptions of various products, we instead interviewed the client about her passions, asking her about her views on art, culture, design and her company’s goals. We took those initial statements and, working with the client, fashioned them into a script that she felt spoke to her. From there, we had her professionally record a voiceover track for that script, coaching her on how to sound both conversational and professional during a recording session. By doing this, we were able to take what was previously “just a product video” and transform it into a brand video that had a strong statement of purpose, read with passion by the company’s founder. Not only does the video sell the company and its message to prospective wholesale and retail buyers, but it also positions Lili Alessandra as a credible, articulate voice in the luxury design world.


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Lili Alessandra: From Inspiration To Craftsmanship


Thankfully, we had a client that was strong enough to look at our first draft of the video and say “I want something else” and then patient enough to work with us through those changes. The result was a collaborative effort that gave the client a product she felt was what she wanted – along with a few other great project ideas for future videos.


The lesson here is adaptability. It’s easy to get frustrated and start eye-rolling when a client critiques a piece of work. However, resisting the initial urge to be defensive and focusing on the client’s vision can foster a much more constructive dialogue. And while it may seem tougher at first, working with the client actually requires much less energy (and fewer headaches) than trying to convince the client to change his or her mind and accept something they don’t like. By showing the client we were willing to listen, we gave her a reason to trust us with future projects. It’s a long way of saying “you catch more flies with honey,” but, hey, those clichès stick around for a reason.


I’m not saying that as creatives we should just roll over and let the client push us into creating mediocre work. Instead, we should take the client’s suggestions as a platform to showcase our talents – using our expertise to share tips and tricks the client may not even know they want until they see them. After all, that’s why they hire us.


About the author:

JT Street is a recent convert to the PR world after spending nearly 15 years as a radio and TV reporter in San Antonio. He now does multimedia strategy/media coaching/videography for esd and associates. If YOU’D like to hire JT to help with your project, contact us at (210) 348-8008 or at jt@esdandassociates.com. He promises he’ll TRY to listen as much as he talks. #thestruggleisreal 

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