Cavan Huang, an associate creative director at Interbrand in New York, recently published an article on the Getty Images website on the effectiveness of point-of-view videos and how they can be used to tell brand stories.
“Thousands of hours of videos from the users point-of-view are uploaded to YouTube, Vine and Instagram each day,” says Huang when kicking off his article. And the popularity of footage focused on the self, he explains, is attributable to the fact that it includes viewers in the action and makes them feel as though they are part of the action.
Given that point-of-view footage is so effective at placing the viewer at the centre of the story, several brands have now employed this approach in their commercials.
Huang first points to the award-winning Lurpak butter ad that provides gritty close up-up footage of a cook in the kitchen. Interestingly, this video does in parts seem reminiscent of the Dexter intro video, which made ordinary activities seem so macabre.
But the concept doesn’t always have to be based on a human a character. In a recent Levi’s spot for its range of jeans made from recyclable material, a bottle becomes the focal point of the entire ad. In taking this approach, Levi’s not only tells viewers that its new range is made entirely from recycled plastic but also illustrates how far a single bottle goes in its lifetime.
The final example that Huang uses to illustrate smart POV footage is the spot that was created for the launch of Leica M-Monochrom Camera. Shot in black and white, this commercial tells the story of a war photographer from the camera lens’ point of view.
Huang says that by embracing gritty hand-held camera shots, which are sometimes out of focus or taken from odd angles, brands are offering consumers more authentic advertising because these are the types of images that mobile phone documentarians often create. And this in turn adds a level of personality and humanity that would not have been possible if a different filming approach was used.