Product photography is an art form. It must appeal to the senses, tickle one’s fancy, instill a sense of urgency – I NEED IT! Take this Arcade Putting Pro game, available at JCPenney.com on clearance for $30.
The golf balls are MOVING! You can tell because of the whooooosh lines. The father is EXCITED! His son is about to sink a putt! He may also be excited because he bears an uncanny resemblance to Adam Sandler’s friend Peter Dante.
But something strange is afoot. Peter Dante looks excited, yet apprehensive, as if something off camera is about to happen. Something BAD! “My son is about to sink this putt but OH MY GOD THAT MAN-EATING TIGER THAT ESCAPED FROM THE ZOO IS COMING RIGHT AT US!”
The kid, meanwhile, seems to be looking right at the director.
“Don’t look at the camera, Carl, look at me. Okay back straight, shoulders square aaaaand… putt. There you go. Man, that turquoise shirt is showing up great on camera. Turquoise is 2010’s color of the year, mind you.”
“Okay guys, let’s break for lunch,” announces the director. “Dad, I’m going to need you to stick around, Carl you’re all done for the day. Nice work. Everyone else, let’s get set up for the second product shot. This next one will be used for Amazon’s product page and I’m gonna need Randy and Beverly in here. Randy, same story as Carl but look straight down. Beverly, I need to you scream as you notice the tiger charging at you. Dad, you’re going to be wearing a non-identifying red baseball cap, a ringer tee, and I want you to look directly at me as though you’ve been huffing glue while riding the city bus all morning. Perfect.”
And that’s the story behind the Arcade Putting Pro product photos. As for the product itself, a JC Penny customer says:
“Purchased game to use at a fall festival. Set up at my house for a trial by adults, no children. Game started falling apart within 5 minutes. The plastic screws that connect the main part of the game to the mat would not stay in. Used the 2 replacements sent; same thing happened. The folding plastic brace that lifts the main part of the game fell off continuously. I used metal screws to reinforce so that I can hopefully get some use from it.. Very poorly made- not worth the price.”
So there you have it. An otherwise poor-quality product that’s been saved by exceptional marketing photos.