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How a teleprompter can kill authenticity

Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 in best practices, BLOG, video production | No Comments

I saw a video the other day via Flipboard, from a San Francisco company called The Real Real, which lets people buy and sell gently used designer items online.

The video is definitely spot on in terms of marketing strategy – How To Authenticate Luis Vuitton is great content, and positions the company as an authority in luxury goods (with the added benefit of making viewers also feel like in-the-know fashionistas after watching the piece.) There’s a reason it’s garnered 38,000++ views so far.

However, there is one sadly inauthentic aspect to the video – the singsong, yet somehow still stiff delivery of Senior Director for Authentication Graham Wetzberger – the only moving element in a wide, static shot framed against a white background (in other words, how could you NOT notice his delivery?).

From his dress, outfit, and mannerisms, Mr. W seems quite fabulous. And obvi, his topic is fabulous. So why is he discussing such a fab topic with the  soulless efficiency of an airline safety video?

You would think that a Senior Director of Authentication would know enough about his biz not to need a teleprompter to get through it. After all, there are only 4 points to keep in mind (see, I paid attention). And unless Mr. Wetzberger actually talks in real life like he’s reading from a 5th grade book report, the natural flow of his voice would have been worlds better. One wonders what the Junior Director of Authentication would have been able to do. Maybe a little youth would have helped the piece out.

Alternately, if Mr. W was uncomfortable in front of the camera (and he seemed to be), why have him in the video at all? The full shots with him in it were only a couple of seconds long. The rest of it featured his hands pointing out the details of flawless LV’s. The copy would have worked – maybe even better – if accompanied only by images and text. And some music, perhaps?

The point being – people aren’t handbags. It takes more to prove a person is authentic than just their hardware or the way they’re stitched together. If you put someone in a video, make sure that person is comfortable, confident, and ready to sparkle – not just a moving mouthpiece for teleprompter copy. Thecommich says: People have personalities. Make sure they show through!

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