actor faces

So you have the makings of what you are certain will be a great marketing video – a solid script, a strong call to action, production tools, and… actors?

Well, you then realize all that’s left to do is find the right cast. And believe you me (having cast hundreds of productions), it’s easier said than done.

You may have a gorgeous lead but the video could still fall flat. This is because, like all its other elements, the cast – whether a single voiceover talent or a full ensemble – must fit the video.

Here are a few tips to make sure you get the right cast for your video.

1. The right voice. If your video is to feature a voice-over actor, make sure to choose the right narrator. A video for girls’ fashion will naturally require someone with the voice of a young woman, one for high-end dresses or cosmetics a more mature voice. For a product or service marketed nationwide, the obvious choice would be a neutral voice with no regional accent, unless that is the image or flavor you want to project.

2. The customer. Most people who look at advertisements for products they are interested in tend to see themselves in the ads. Making it easy for them to project themselves into the video greatly improves the chances they will heed your call to action.

3. Attractive is good, unapproachable is not. Supermodels may be gorgeous but most people will find them impossible to identify with. The best choice would be someone who your viewers can relate to, who could be a neighbor or good friend.

4. Do some screen tests. It is important early on to have an idea of how your actors look and project on the screen. You won’t need any sophisticated gear to do this. Your phone camera will do fine. If you can’t afford a professional casting director, you can get friends or relatives for a focus group. Or simply trust your instincts.

5. If you will be filming in your office or store, employees are great to add realism to the shoot. But make sure to choose only those who are comfortable in front of the camera and who agree to appear in the video. Someone appearing against their will stands out like a sore thumb and ruins everything.

If your viewers can relate with or, better yet, see themselves in your cast, the more likely they are to patronize your product or service.