Google has produced dozens of slick demo videos. From Buzz, to Chrome OS to Voice Actions, if there was a product launch, you bet Google has slapped together a two-minute walkthrough video with some nifty animation, a stark-white dimensionless backdrop and, of course, high res product images interspersed throughout.
While dancing stick figures are indeed a treat, I particularly enjoy the videos where Google throws an unsuspecting, delightfully (endearingly) dorky product manager in front of the camera. With varying degrees of success, the average Google demo star (often clad in a well-worn polo, or company t-shirt) seems to deliver his/her lines effortlessly, apparent graduates of the Google School of Product Demos.
Turns out, the sausage making is not as pretty.
Somehow— and I’m not sure how— we convinced Google to turn over the blooper reel for their latest video on Google Voice Actions, starring Senior Software Engineer Mike LeBeau. We were completely joking, expecting a PR clampdown, but Google said yes and released 73 seconds of glorious gaffes (Google, if you’re reading, can we also get a sneak peek at Google Me? Pretty please?).
Apparently, this is just the tip of the blooper iceberg, LeBeau says, Google has hours of raw, awkward footage on hand for all its demos. For example, this single Voice Actions video required two days, 6.5 hours of in the studio (the first video was scrapped), and roughly 3 to 5 takes per segment.
While it’s impossible to calculate the toll this blooper reel will have on LeBeau’s social life, if the whole point of the employee-centric demo video was to humanize Google’s products, then I can’t think of a better strategy. Bravo Google, bravo.
Click above for LeBeau’s blooper reel, complete with ill-fitting t-shirts, vanity checks and yes, a tiny puppy.
Last week, in our video interview on Google Voice Actions, Mike also discussed the trials and tribulations of being a Google demo star. Skip ahead to the 8 minute mark: