Video Essentials

The Secrets of Selling Luxury with Online Video

You’ve got a high income clientele and you’re pushing a posh product. Even the cleverest viral video could seem gimmicky to your well-heeled customer, and the direct approach could make your product seem downmarket.

It takes nuance to reach the rich. It takes style.

To understand the basics of marketing exclusive goods with online video, we spoke to an expert. Sarah Passarelli is a senior account executive with D S Simon Productions. Her team recently created a line of videos for the Hilton Luxury Group, a part of the Hilton Hotel company that serves the luxury traveler.

The series includes nine videos featuring John Vanderslice, global head of luxury and lifestyle brands for Hilton Worldwide, in conversation with notables including Danny Meyer, Tommy Hilfiger, and Steve Sadove (CEO of Saks 5th Avenue).

The videos needed to convey a certain aesthetic, and Passarelli applied several techniques to create the right feeling in her videos. The most important tip, she says, is to choose your location wisely. In the Hilton videos, the location becomes a third character, behind the interviewer and interviewee. She used real-world locations including the Waldorf Astoria hotel, the couture floor of Saks, and a Danny Meyer restaurant.

Even with a great location, however, you can’t just unfold your tripod and expect magic. Her team called in a set designer for some shoots, to spruce things up and make each setting as impressive as possible. Don’t be shy about hiring as expert. Include a make-up artist in your planning, as well.

To create visuals as rich as possible, shooting in high-definition is a must. You can assume your potential clients have broadband and nice big monitors to view your videos.

As you think about your customers, plan how to approach them. You’ll move in the wrong direction if you think of your videos as sales tools. Rather than trying to sell a product, think how you can inform and entertain your audience.

Tight editing is just as important here as anywhere else online. Don’t assume that well-off customers want to watch long online videos. No matter how much great material you captured, trim your video down to two to four minutes.

In your planning, think about who your audience is and how they want to be treated. The luxury consumer has higher expectations, says Passarelli; they spend more and expect sales people to know more about them. If they’re paying a premium for your product, you need to know their needs.

Finaly, Passarelli emphasizes that you need to know where your luxury brand videos will live online. To create an attractive finished product, match the tone and style of the site that will host your videos.


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  1. I have enjoyed reading this article but when I watched the actual movies, I must say that I was dissappointed with the shaky footage and some bad audiocuts.

    I did expect more of the videos after reading this article. And then the lowresolution player adds to the dissappointment, expecting to see rich, detailed HD footage.

    Posted by Patbro | September 1, 2011, 4:43 am
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