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5 Ads to Shoot on Your Phone

There is a saying amongst camera operators that the best camera is the one that can get the shot– meaning big fancy cameras are awesome, but sometimes the best camera to have is the one that is small, light, and most importantly, suits the needs of the job. Luckily, just about everyone is carrying around a high-end camera around with them everyday in their pocket. Specifically there are features on your camera that can allow you to get some great shots that would normally take expensive equipment or skilled editors.

We are going to be talking about how to make 5+ ads with your phone and a little planning.

First off, I should say that to get the most out of your phone’s camera and make your video look professional, you will want to pay attention to lighting and sound. The easiest tips are make sure all the lights are on or you are near a window. Also, be conscious of background noise when picking a place to record.  Little details like that can make great improvements in quality.

The first video ad type actually more of a style, but in encompasses 5 in itself so consider that a bonus. Unboxing, Up-close Demonstrations, Introductional or Explainer videos can all be easily shot with your phone. All that is required is a table, tripod, (or camera person), some good lighting, and to position the camera close enough to pick up clean audio. I specifically mention unboxings, and up-close demonstrations because they naturally lend to tighter framing and therefore close microphones. These same principles can also be used to record someone talking or interviewing someone behind a desk. A rule of thumb is if you can see the entire body, you are too far away to be getting good audio.

If you have an event, experience, or even a long process to showcase, using your phone to allow make sure you have the shots when the situation arrives. Being lightweight and portable allows you to constantly have your camera ready for your next shot. Expensive cameras, while nice, need time to pull focus, get framing, change lens, get batteries, etc. A small, non-intrusive camera like a phone can be the perfect tool.

A fun shot to run for an ad with little to no work is a time-lapse of a process or set up. Smartphones now have a time-lapse function that will do all the work for you, including setting the end duration of the video. What used to take time, hardware, software, and expertise can now be accomplished in moments. It’s a neat feature and is worth exploring how you can use it creatively.

Next is slow motion beauty shots. Also known as hero shots, these are the ones that are so visually appealing you just have to buy it. The very cool thing is, like the time-lapse, this is a shot that used to need a skilled editor and an expensive camera to accomplish. With some camera shooting at 240 fps, that means that you can get silky smooth slow-motion shots that play at 10% of real speed. This looks great for action shots but you can also have fun with it and maybe drop your product through the air, or have water drip down it. Find a way to add something extra to your product shot and go wild. Pro tip, slow motion footage also looks smoother if you are getting a shot where you want to move the camera.

Lastly is testimonials— ironically we see the best result in our social proof ads when we do the least amount of editing. Everyone thinks that a professionally done video puts the best foot forward, but in reality, raw, self shot video testimonials are the most convincing delivery. When people see nice lite sets they think of actors, when they see someone talking to their iPhone it conveys the message that it is straight from the heart and authentic to the core.