30 Second Video: Lemon

The Concept:

In 1959, an advertising campaign titled Think Small was created or the Volkswagen Beetle. The campaign was created by Helmut Krone and was written by Julian Koenig. The advertisement was ranked as the best advertising campaign of the twentieth century by Ad Age.

The point of the advertisement revolved around the idea of a car being good in every way but one, and therefore having one part that doesn’t function correctly. The term “Lemon” refers to something that is good in every way but is in one way dysfunctional, the same way as the car.  The campaign was hugely successful due to how simple it was (a white background with the car and the word “lemon”). It emphasized the advantages of owning a small car.

My initial thought of doing a 30 second video is that you couldn’t really make a particularly good video in the span of 30 seconds. I mean, you could be creative, but it wouldn’t have an outstanding story line. This is when I remembered the 1959 advertising campaign. I then realized that, because the video was only 30 seconds, no matter what I would do would be over with quickly. I wanted to make something that had meaning, but how much meaning could I put into 30 seconds? I decided then to use a lemon to represent the concept of “lemon”(the idea of something being good, but then having some flaw). The idea of making a video and editing it to perfection was good, but the flaw was the lack of length to tell a story in. Therefore, I used a lemon as a symbol of the lemon concept from the 1959 Volkswagen advertising campaign.


In the video 30 Second Video: Lemon, the story follows a person taking a lemon out of a fridge. There is eight different angles: the first angle is a medium shot of the lemon inside the fridge. The door closes and the screen goes black. The scene fades back in and is a medium low angle shot of the protagonist sitting in a chair. The video goes to see a side angle of the protagonist in order to show the width of the goggles. The shot returns back to the low angle medium shot. It changes to a close up of the protagonist’s face, which is to show the face paint and the goggles. The camera angle then changes to an aerial view, which is to show the movement of the protagonist standing up and reaching over to the fridge. The fridge is opened, and the camera angle is from inside the fridge at a super close up of the lemon. It’s so close that the screen is black until the hand reaches in and removes the lemon from the fridge. The light only lasts a few moments, as the fridge is promptly closed again. The last shot is of the lemon being slammed down onto the countertop and the word “Lemon” appearing to solidify it’s meaning.


There weren’t many difficulties in the project other than the star of the film’s younger brother who wanted to be in the shots too. Also, we had to refilm the project a few times because I was being difficult and every time it didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted it, we would refilm. This caused it to be a little time consuming. On top of this need to have a high quality video, I wasn’t able to make the music match the shots exactly no matter what I did, which was somewhat irritating. The only other problem I can think of is the fact that my laptop decided not to allow me into the program of Movie Maker, and therefore I had to use someone else’s laptop in order to get it done.


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