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Supermarket uses consumer 360 camera to shoot viral ad with social distancing

Supermarket chain uses 360 camera to shoot ad with social distancing
Supermarket chain uses 360 camera to shoot ad with social distancing

How do you shoot an advertisement while maintaining social distancing? UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s solved this dilemma by shooting their advertisement solely with a consumer 360 camera, and the ad has gone viral, with 1.3 million views to date.

Shooting a video for a large corporate client usually requires a camera crew, and is more difficult with social distancing. On the other hand, a 360 camera can be operated even by one person, and can capture a variety of perspectives including a third person view. That’s the approach that UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s used for their most recent ad, which was shot entirely with what appears to be a consumer 360 camera.  Here’s the ad:

The video shows a variety of perspectives, including a tiny planet perspective, a third person view, a hands-free first person view, the perspective from inside a shopping bag, a close up shot of the truck’s wheel, and more.  Interestingly, the video makes very little use of keyframing, and instead uses cuts, probably in order to match the fast pace of the video and its music.

As for the camera that they used, you can see its shadow in a few shots, and it appears to be a thin 360 camera, which suggests it is a consumer 360 camera:

The thin shadow of the camera suggests that it is a consumer 360 camera
The thin shadow of the camera suggests that it is a consumer 360 camera.

Undoubtedly, they could have used a higher resolution professional 360 camera costing thousands of dollars (perhaps on a boom arm operated by a camera man).  Instead, they apparently chose a consumer 360 camera, which I love because it drives home three important points: first, that the image quality of a consumer 360 camera can be sufficient.  Second, it shows the many creative possibilities for shooting with a 360 camera — and as the ad shows, it can even be used by itself to shoot an entire video.  Third, it destroys any excuse we may have for not shooting better videos with the 360 camera many of us already have.  Yes, with the right technique, your 360 camera is capable of creating a video even for a large corporate client.

Do you think that 360 cameras have become good enough to be used for mainstream videos, perhaps even by itself?  Let me know in the comments!