The Money Shot

That's what I've heard more than one client call it. Because there's a deeply held belief amongst some clients that certain shots are "magical" and that whether the product sells can be determined by this few seconds of film.

For a fast food joint, it's the burger sizzling on the grill. If it's bleach, it's the white shirt at the end. If it's a car brand, it's the car taking a corner. Heck, music videos have them--the band mugging to camera. Movies have them--the close-up of the stars.

When I worked on video games, we were often disappointed that the client just wanted to show game footage. There was such an missed opportunity, we complained, to do something funny with a story. No, the game developers said. Gamers want to see game footage. Much like eaters apparently want to see sizzling burgers and drivers will drop $40k if they can just see a brief shot of a car cornering on wet pavement.

If this were true, we'd run 30-second spots of just burgers on the grill. The important thing is to know going in what the "mandatories" are. Is there a way to build the spot around the "money shot" or work it into the spot naturally? At least make sure you save time for it.

And not that I'm a gamer, per se, but sometimes I think maybe the client's right.