by David Festini, Post Production Producer, Concepts TV Productions
In the world of DRTV, the right testimonial can make or break a production. At Concepts TV we have been using testimonials in our infomercial productions for more than 30 years. From household products to weight loss programs, the right testimonial can make all the difference. Choosing who to use and what clips to include is a daily challenge for the producers and editors at Concepts TV.
Credibility– is your subject credible? Consumers can spot a phony…if your subject doesn’t appear honest, it can have the reverse effect and kill the sale.
Clarity– Is your subject clear and concise? Does she get her message across quickly? A testimonial can be edited to time, but a clear, untouched, organic quote is always best. In the case of a long form infomercial, such as a weight loss program, this can be achieved by choosing the right subjects before shooting begins. Pre-shoot screening is an integral part of the process.
Likability– A trick that I use to choose the right subject is to envision myself in a conversation with the person. If I had a five minute conversation about the program with this person, would I leave intrigued or would I want to escape? All too often, the speaker is boring! The audience has to relate to the person. It’s important to make the viewer feel like that person is “just like me”.
Results– Currently, Concepts TV is putting the finishing touches on a very extensive weight loss infomercial involving a large test group of individuals monitored over the course of two months. When sorting the footage for the best clips, a very simple qualifier presented itself…Did the subjects lose the weight? It was a very effective program and the large majority of our test group had significant results. On paper, those results looked great, but the real value is the visual-does the subject look visibly thinner? You may have to sacrifice personality in favor of an effective visual. It’s a delicate balance and it’s one we worked at tirelessly to get the best production value possible.
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