The music video for the song. "If It's Lovin' that You Want", was shot on a stretch of beach on the coast of California in Malibu and directed by Marcus Raboy. In an interview with MTV News, Rihanna spoke about the development of the shoot for the video, saying "The water was so cold ... but oh my gosh, we had so much fun ... We were bumping each other off the Jet Skis and just had a ball". During the interview, the singer elaborated further upon the content of the video and the meaning behind it, saying "This video is about having fun, giving off the vibe of the Caribbean ... we did some mermaid-looking stuff down on the sand ...and I'm just [performing] to the camera as if it were my boyfriend. Now we're going to do [some scenes with] the Tiki torches. It's going to be incredible". The dance routines in the video were choreographed by noted choreographer Fatima Robinson.
The video begins with scenes of Rihanna dancing and walking along the beach and riding jet ski's with her friends during the first chorus and continues into the first verse. Halfway through the first verse, a new scene of the singer is introduced, where she is dancing on a platform with four other female dancers, wearing a "short, flowing white skirt and a cropped tee", with the ocean as the backdrop behind her. During the second chorus, the previous scenes are intercut with each other, and continue into the second verse, where a new scene of the singer wearing a different outfit and lying on the beach, whilst also interacting with some male extras. For the third chorus, which is repeated twice, another new scene of Rihanna is shown with four other female dancers who belly dance in the middle of a Tiki torch circle during the night. The chorus is repeated for a final time, where scenes from throughout the video are intercut with each other.