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Authentic Vehicle Walk-Around Video Versus Contrived B Roll TV Spots or Pan and Zoom Fakes

What types of video work better? Authentic Vehicle Walk-Around Presentations or Videos assembled from OEM supplied "B Roll" intended for TV Spots... Or, the ever popular mass produced Pan and Zoom "fake" videos made from the still images photographed for inventory listings?


Last week I had the honor and privilege of both attending and speaking at the Digital Marketing Strategies Conference produced by Carrie Hemphill, Brian Pasch, Glen Pasch and the team at First Class Educators.  On the last day of this 3 day event, Brian Pasch presented a $2,000 cash prize and an award for the best vehicle presentation video.  I was among several people who were, and are, very disappointed with the video clip that was selected as the winner.  In my opinion, the Infiniti of Lisle video clip that was selected as the winner may be very well produced, but it is far from the best video presentation video we have seen, nor was it the best of those submitted.  Why do I disagree with Brian Pasch's selection? Because as polished as it is, it reeks of "fake" and does little to convey a sense of genuine excitement or passion on the part of the person presenting the Infiniti G37 showcased.  The clip also makes extensive use of OEM supplied "B Roll" footage and is highly "produced" with slick transitions, special effects and titling.  All of the slick production effects are nice, and add polish, but do little to convey a sense of genuine excitement about the vehicle or any type of exclusivity to the dealership providing the clip.


The video shown below is one I shot while in the audience in Las Vegas during Brian Ppasch's presentation of the "Best Video" award for a vehicle presentation... It contains a viewing of the winning clip:

In all fairness to Infiniti of Lisle, I am embedding their award winning video as seen on YouTube below:

2012 Infiniti G37 -- Available now at Infiniti of Lisle


Now, after watching the Infiniti of Lisle video presentation, it's time to take a look at several other vehicle presentation videos and then express your opinion about which of these clips would inspire YOU to either pick up a phone and call the dealership, visit the dealership in person, or even submit an online inquiry about the vehicle being presented:

NJ VW | 2012 Volkswagen CC Sport Review | Douglas VW in Summit NJ Union County NJ`s Select VW

A Luxury mid-size Sports Sedan at a Volkswagen price here`s the all-New 2012 VW CC Sport! Known for it`s signature striking looks, the 2012 VW CC offers outstanding style, performance, fuel economy and affordability! Get a feel for what this awesome V-Dub is all about as Ken Beam from Douglas Volkswagen in Summit New Jersey, demonstrates the 2012 CC Features, compares other cars in it`s class such as the Acura TSX, Nissan Maxima, and Lexus IS-250 and shows you the benefits that put this Volkswagen truly in a class of it`s own.

*Please visit our New website at and stop by 491 Morris Ave. in Summit and take the All-New 2012 CC for a spin!

**See our current New Car Specials;

*Remember.... All Volkswagen VW CCs are created equal, however all VW Dealers in New Jersey are different.... and after being in business in Summit since 1965, we cordially invite you to stop by Douglas VW to experience the Douglas Difference!

*Thank you very much for watching.


Shown below is a Video presentation of a Buick Ranier SUV by Tim Jennings that was prepared by Tim on a solo basis while he worked for Tom Sparks Buick in Dekalb, Illinois: Please call for availability 815-739-6054. My name is Tim Jennings, I have 18 years of automotive experience, 15 at Tom Sparks Buick. I have successfully earned the business of 1500 people in the DeKalb area, 3500 people from 243 Illinois communities, plus over 100 people from 2 states.. I strive to do this in a friendly fashion. It is my job to search the Internet and price our vehicles as competitively as possible. I provide cars and trucks of exceptional quality and reasonable cost to our customers. All of our used cars go through a 110-point inspection process. I insure our customers satisfaction through honest sales practices, responsive service and friendly communication at all levels. At Tom Sparks we approach each customer on the Internet and in person with the belief that we are developing a life-long relationship, beneficial to both parties. You can be confident I will be here after each sale to help fill your continuing automotive needs. When you call or visit our dealership in person please ask for me. I have been the Internet manager at Tom Sparks Inc since its inception in 1999. At TomSparks.Com you will start with me. Tom Sparks Auto is the premier Used Car Dealership in Dekalb-Sycamore IL. We are located in Dekalb, Illinois but we serve all of Northern IL and Chicago. We even offer FREE transportation to and from Chicago Airports. The cities we serve include Hinckley, Rochelle, Rockford, St Charles, Elgin, Waterman, Shabbona, Malta, and anyone looking for Worry-Free Car Buying in the states of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin! At Tom Sparks Automotive we have many Used Cars to choose from including Buick, Pontiac, GMC, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Hyundai and Kia. For more information about Tom Sparks, please visit


For comparison purposes, let's take a look at a vehicle review video from regarding the 2009 Honda Accord... It is interesting to note that this fairly professional video clip does not make use of "Pan and Zoom" nor does it include OEM supplied "B Roll" footage... It is all real and all genuine.  Could we perhaps learn something from these automotive reporting professionals?

From My Homies in Phoenix

The following video presentation of the 2012 Chevrolet Volt is a long 10 minute clip from Bryan Long at Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix, but it is fresh and new in its approach and content.  This is both innovative and informative without being overly produced.  In fact, the shaky camera work in the beginning seems to add an air of authenticity to the whole clip.  If you take the time to watch Bryan's complete presentation he shows what it is like to commute to work using the Chevy Volt at over 100 MPG... He even shows a Toyota Prius cutting him off in traffic, but makes up for it with some head banging Guns 'N Roses blasting from the Volt's sound system.  I really enjoyed this clip and thousands of car buyers in Phoenix did as well!

BLong Rocks the House of Courtesy in Phoenix!!!

Sorry about that outburst... My enthusiasm for the crew at Courtesy Chevrolet continues unabated... Bryan Long's video is the clip I would have chosen for the $2,000 award.  The originality and innovative presentation of a Chevy Volt is both unique and compelling... But most of all, very real and authentic!

There is no doubt that the Rob Fontano inspired 2012 Infiniti G37 video presentation from Infiniti of Lisle is an excellent piece of work, and for that matter, almost all videos produced by dealerships are better than none at all... But, what will resonate with automotive consumers as being genuine, authentic and relevant to their real world needs? The highly produced, or the more personalized and authentic?

Views: 1557

Tags: Authentic, B, Contrived, Fakes, Pan, Roll, Spots, TV, Vehicle, Versus, More…Video, Walk-Around, Zoom, and, or


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Comment by Ken Beam on February 10, 2012 at 7:20pm

So here`s a sort of funny little story for all of you....... Six years ago when I first started doing these clips I started to get quite a few calls from all around the country from dealers asking me about them. Back then I would attend a few AutoTrader and seminars also a few times a year and someone would always point me out and say "Hey..... I know who you are! You`re that guy from Jersey that makes those videos!"............. lol.......... so about five years ago(maybe it was longer...I`m not sure), I get a call from this guy and he goes, "Hey is this Ken?"......I said, "Yep"....... then he says, "Hey man I was just out in Las Vegas and they were showing your videos out there".............. So I was like,"Where?"........ he says, "at the Digital Dealer Conference in Vegas"............ I said, "The Digital what??..............He says, "Yeah at the Digital Dealer Conference" So I said, " Who are you?"........ He says, "I`m Tim Jennings..... and man I gonna do my videos like yours!" and that`s how I met Tim Jennings from `ol Dekalb Illinois! at that point I had never heard of Digital Dealer.......... It`s just funny when you think back on this stuff and how things have progressed and developed over the last few years in this Digital World that we now live in.

From just some guy in Jersey..........

Comment by Ken Beam on February 10, 2012 at 11:45am

lol!~~ Yeah..... we sort of dig Video at Douglas Volkswagen too..........

Crank those speakers up LOUD please!~


Comment by Joe Angrisano on February 10, 2012 at 10:57am

The Flip replacement camera I'm referring to is the Sony Bloggie Touch.

Pocket-Size Touchscreen Video camera Takes HD Video and 12.8 mp Photos.

Comment by on February 10, 2012 at 10:47am

Ralph, great thread! ...although we were hoping you'd feature some WheelsTV video in your original video comparison ;) We pride ourselves on full coverage, unbiased reporting of vehicle facts, and staying compliant for dealers/OEM's. We really cringe at the site of a b-roll only video with generic statements spoken by a robot, or those horrific picture slideshows. We're in the business to change all that and give dealers/OEM's high-quality content. Our biggest challenge as video producers of every make and model has been timeliness - getting the video done by the time the car hits the showroom floor. In the last 4 months we have produced over 260 2012 videos! Crazy huh? As much as that sounds, it still hasn't covered the entire market. The most important piece of our video production is getting insight into the dealers needs because it is, after all, all about what the dealer AND consumer wants. There's a delicate balance of this for us though - we keep our creative spin by shooting great footage, we don't bash the cars, and we keep the videos as accurate as possible. Perhaps this thread is a chance for all of you to provide some feedback for us? Here's one of our 2300+ video test drives we produce on our own, 100% original.

Let us know what you think!

Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on February 10, 2012 at 10:43am

Still a few Sylvania DV 5000s to be found, I picked several for 20 bucks apiece...smaller than Flip but more features, lithium ion batt., HDMI & USB , SD card storage, 720HD.

Comment by Joe Truesdale on February 10, 2012 at 10:36am

Flip is a good way to go. I personally enjoy my Kodak Zi-8. It used to be fairly cheap at $89, but since Kodak's financial struggles and apparent halt on production, that price has skyrocketed to almost $400 by some vendors. Nice little camera, but not worth that much! Their Zi6 and Playsport Zx5 look like nice sub-$100 alternatives though.

Comment by Joe Angrisano on February 10, 2012 at 10:24am

I firmly believe that a Flip type camera, (sony makes a nice one now that Flip has been discontinued) is the way to go for the rank and file who can't wait to get going on their own dealership video projects.  Joe... your situation is a level of sophistication that is currently beyond most in-house beginners. 

Thank you for your Mac based response Joe!  Needless to say Final Cut is powerful editing software.

I'm hoping that the "Flip Folks" using a PC will weigh in too with software and cameras of choice.

Comment by Joe Truesdale on February 10, 2012 at 10:10am

Thanks Joe, much appreciated. I'm currently using Final Cut Express on a 2011 MacBook Pro running OS X Lion. I'm shooting video on a Canon Vixia HF-R10, which is an affordable entry level camera that has a mic input (crucial to us).

We're considering upgrading both aspects though. With Final Cut Pro X implementing a lot of great features in their latest update, it seems like a worthy investment. Also, the camera shoots pretty dark and isn't very good in low light situations. That's causing a lot of post-production white balancing that cuts into our efficiency. 

Comment by Joe Angrisano on February 10, 2012 at 10:06am

Joe ... Sonic Video is a great!  Enjoyed it!  Can you share with us the video editing software you are using and the camera please. Thanks!

Comment by Joe Truesdale on February 10, 2012 at 9:17am

I couldn't agree more with Philip Moore. Each video needs to have a set goal in mind. Is it to drive leads? Is it to build trust? Is it to inform? Entertain? Compliment SEO/Social initiatives?

In a search and social world, it's not only important to have a large amount of content, but content that is relevant to the customer/follower where ever they may interact with you.

The best way to improve lead response, in my opinion, is with Philip's suggestion of having the sales person creating a custom video that's specific to their inquiry. I'd think that 10-min is a little long in the tooth, but 1.5 to 2 minutes of a quick view that the car is, "cleaned up and ready to go for your visit later today." The problem that we're running into is getting the sales department to commit to that amount of time. In the meantime, we've got one person who walks around all of our used vehicles to show how their ins and outs. If there's a ding in the paint, we show it. It helps build credibility and we make sure to say, "We want to make sure there are no surprises when you visit our dealership." I really like Angela Martin's video that was posted on page two. Well done!

Our new car strategy is a little different. Rather than walking around each car, we pick out the make/model we want to feature and show why it stands out in its class. The most recent one we've done can be found here on the Chevy Sonic. Any feedback is certainly welcome.

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