Purple Lips and Fuzzy Neckties: What to Avoid When Appearing in Marketing Videos

You’ve been asked to appear in a marketing videoand love the thought of being a star for the day. Unlike a Hollywood set, it’s doubtful that you’ll have a team of makeup artists and costume designers dedicated to ensuring that you look your best on camera. In fact, you’ll likely be responsible for selecting the wardrobe and applying your own makeup. Make the right choices and you’ll look great; make the wrong ones and you may end up with purple lips or a shirt that confuses the camera lens.

Because of the way cameras handle reds, it’s smart to avoid red colors. For example, your red lipstick could appear purple on camera! Similarly, red colors can “bloom” on camera, making you appear as if you’re on fire. While modern camera equipment has become more capable of handling reds, it’s smart to avoid this color if possible. Other colors to avoid are black and white.

While you’d never dream of wearing a fuzzy necktie or scarf in real life, the camera can wreak havoc on patterned fabric. Your beautifully patterned necktie or scarf could take on a life of its own on camera, appearing “fuzzy” or causing a distracting flicker. Choose solid fabrics whenever possible. If you must go with a patterned fabric, avoid fine prints. This doesn’t mean you should opt for large patterns or geometric prints as these can be just as distracting visually.

When choosing jewelry, pay close attention to two important aspects: shine and noise. Shiny jewelry will reflect light and appear flashy on camera, causing a visual distraction. Noisy jewelry will clank as you move, again causing a distraction. Even worse, the sound equipment will amplify that noise.

As you go through your wardrobe in search of a suitable outfit in camera-friendly fabrics, try on at least three or four different outfits and evaluate them in terms of comfort and appearance. Does the outfit look nice when standing? How about when you’re seated? Have a friend take photos of you wearing each outfit in both sitting and standing poses. For example, if you’re wearing slacks, the photos may reveal that you need to wear longer socks.

While you’re at it, consider where you’ll clip on the microphone. Lapel microphones can be unobtrusively clipped on neckties, lapels, and on button-down shirts. The wires can also be routed underneath some shirts and blouses. However, high-necked blouses and dresses without a vest or jacket are more challenging.

Both men and women can benefit by wearing special makeup designed for high definition video cameras. Not only can this makeup help you look good on camera, it can reduce glare from the lights.

After you’ve assembled the perfect wardrobe for your marketing video, spend some time speaking in front of a camera. Not only do you want to become more comfortable in front of a camera, the recordings may show you areas to work on. Pay close attention to your hand gestures and any inadvertent mannerisms such as fiddling with your hair or touching your face.

Making the right wardrobe choices is essential before appearing in a marketing video. Choose wisely and you’ll look great on camera. Take a haphazard approach and you may be dismayed at your unflattering appearance.