Early summer I get an email from Eric Tsoi telling me about his plans to create wireless earbuds. He said the timing was right to launch this product into the market. I asked him what ideas he had to brand the product and if he had any ideas on the video. He didn’t have much ideas on the video, but he needed to get the campaign going very soon. Fast forward to September and Truebuds have raised $468,771, almost 10x their $50,000 goal.

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The idea phase was fun because Eric gave us free-reign in the creative process. He told us he wanted to video to portray a premium product and have the branding be similar to Apple.

And so, Tony and I immediately begin digging for inspiration. The Apple watch just came out and our immediate thought was to take ideas from the three beautifully shot Apple watch commercials.


One thing I noticed about Apple’s lifestyle commercials is that its mostly about people and moments. Only half the video’s scenes have the product (the watch) in them. Another thing is that there are a lot of scenes. The average amount of shots per minute long commercial was like 30 shots.

Eric liked the idea, but we didn’t have a big enough budget to do that many scenes for the Truebuds video, and for something like this we needed to feature the product a little more. I remember Jambox being a similar product with similar audience. Here’s their video:

This video only has about 6 scenes, but it does a good job of conveying a mysterious tone so that the viewer stays curious throughout the whole video. It also demonstrates product use cases and makes the target prospect feel like he could be relate to the main character, giving the character a nerdy cool vibe.

So based on these examples, we thought of interesting ways that Truebuds could shown, and scenes that could emulate the brands of Apple and Jambox.

And, like many of our shoots, we get all of our shots on schedule, but not without stress. For example, the scene with the bicyclist was shot at a busy intersection near the pier. To get the wide shot we wanted, we needed to position the actor across the busy intersection with our film crew near the front of the Muni street car platform.

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Another stressful moment was the opening scene in front of the bar. For us it was the martini shot (the last shot of the entire shoot). The stress came from drunk patrons who were mad at us for taking up the sidewalk, drunkenly explaining to us that they knew the owners of the bar.

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In the end everything got done in time for their launch, and by teaming up with the PR firm, we also strategically produced a founders video that added the an extra credibility boost. There were other wireless earbud products that began to spring up, and some were not so legitimate. The founders video portrayed Eric and his team as down to earth real engineers that would deliver the features of the product as promised, and not over-promise.

Being able to work so closely with Eric, I definitely shared in the feeling of success when Truebuds accomplished their goal. It makes building a tech hardware product seem less of an unreachable dream.

Reference Links:

Truebud’s Kickstarter Page

Truebud’s Indiegogo Page