Slow motion = luxury
Slow motion videos make your product or brand feel more luxurious. In experiments it boosted clicks +18%, acceptable price +11%, and sales +22%.
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Say you’re watching a champagne commercial.
A model is holding a bottle and about to pour it. The camera zooms in on the opening of the bottle.
Right when the golden liquid starts pouring out, the video slows down. You can see the subtle intricacies of every splash.
That slow-mo was very pretty.
But that’s not all it did.
It also boosted sales.
P.S.: This study focused on ‘luxury’-positioned products. It may work on premium or high-quality products too, but this was not tested.
Previous insight: The shopping cart that boosts sales 33% (more insights here)
Slow motion videos boost sales of luxury products
Channels: Luxury | Video ads | Social media | Brand positioning
Research date: December 2022
Slow down parts of your product videos and video ads by 4-5x while showing your product in movement (e.g. champagne pouring into a glass, pieces of chocolate falling in melted chocolate).
It will make your product feel more enjoyable and luxurious. People will be more likely to buy and pay more for your product.
Pro tip: Use slow videos when highlighting your product’s benefits and quality. Use fast videos to highlight features and price.
When something moves in slow motion in an ad, people perceive it, and its brand, as more luxurious.
As part of a series of 12 experiments, researchers found that:
People said they would pay 11.4% more for wine ($30.78 vs $27.64) when watching the slow motion version of the ad instead of the regular version.
A Facebook ad for artisan chocolate had 17.7% more clicks (9.3% vs 7.9% CTR) when it was in slow motion
Is strongest when people are in the mood to splurge (vs in the mood to save)
Weakens or disappears when ads are blurry or interrupted by buffering
Varies by person depending on how much they usually feel immersed. People who tend to either become very immersed in what they watch, or not at all, aren’t affected by this
🧠 Why it works
Slow motion shows us additional details of an object’s movement. That increases how much we feel immersed and absorbed by what we are watching.
We feel emotions - both positive and negative - more strongly when our attention is immersed like this. We also expect similar enjoyment from the products featured in the ad.
This also makes us view the product or brand as more luxurious, because we associate luxury items with enjoyment and sensory experience.
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The study focused on luxury products (with a strong focus on status). It’s unclear how much this can be applied to premium products (with a focus on high quality). Previous research found that slow videos work well to highlight quality, so there’s a good chance it would work. Test it.
All their studies looked at a minimum of 4 seconds of slow motion footage - it’s unknown if shorter bursts of slow motion would have the same effect.
It may work for luxury services (e.g. a luxury spa), but this was not tested.
It does not apply to products bought for their functionality (e.g. washing machines) or for cheap day-to-day products (e.g. cotton swabs).
The research focused on the effect of rapid movements (e.g. chocolate falling or a drink being poured) so it might not carry over to regular or naturally slow activities with less dramatic movements (like cooking or pressing buttons on a device).
The effect probably backfires if the slow motion is about a negative experience, such as a visit to the dentist.
🏢 Companies using this
21.2% of the 212 Super Bowl commercials that aired between 2018 and 2021 used slow motion.
The 10 most viewed car ads of 8 major luxury car brands (e.g. Audi, Ferrari, Lexus, Tesla) use more ad time on slow motion scenes than those of 9 major non-luxury car brands (e.g. Ford, KIA, Toyota).
Examples of luxury products using slow motion:
⚡ Steps to implement
If your product is luxury or premium, include slow motion shots of key movements in your product videos or ads.
Accompany the videos with audio or messaging that highlights how the product is a treat to be enjoyed (e.g. “the perfect reward after a hard day’s work”).
Play slow motion videos on screens in your stores, if you have them.
Remember that your videos need to be in high resolution and uninterrupted by poor connections, otherwise the effect disappears.
🔍 Study type
Online experiments and field experiment (Facebook campaign A/B testing videos, with 5,560 unique video plays)
When and How Slow Motion Makes Products More Luxurious. Journal of Marketing Research (December 2022)
SungJin Jung. INSEAD
David Dubois. INSEAD
Remember: This is a new scientific discovery. In the future it will probably be better understood and could even be proven wrong (that’s how science works). It may also not be generalizable to your situation. If it’s a risky change, always test it on a small scale before rolling it out widely.
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