According to H.G Wells, advertising is akin to ”legalized lying”. The need to sell has, historically, been intertwined with a long history of deception in order to meet those objectives. However, it seems to me that the truly great advertising of today, especially in the world of online video, tell us something altogether worse than lies, they tell us…nothing.
To entertain or to sell…
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the Dance Pony Dance campaign from Three, but it tells us nothing about the company, let alone a true reflection of the product capabilities. Instead, hard sells have given way to ’Advertainment’, a hybrid of entertainment and advertising that is more likely to drive fans than sales. One cannot dismiss the power of a strong fan-base, however online video is a gift to the modern business, it is the window in to your company for millions of faceless, disconnected consumers who would like to do business with you. Entertainment may get you noticed but it does little reassure new consumers that you can meet their requirements.
On the limitless interwebz, videos are not restricted by the traditional 30-second TV spot and so there’s no reason for rhetoric, lofty metaphors, devious elliptical edits or special effects when it comes to promoting your product honestly. Despite the explosion in online shopping, new customers still need reassurance when buying from you and a straight-forward demonstration video of your product working as you promise is the ultimate technique to converting those wary purchasers.
Destruction not deception…
If you desperately wish to produce advertainment however, rest assured a simple demonstration videodoes have capacity for creativity. Let me introduce you to Blendtec. Blendtec, a domestic blender manufacturer, is the epitome of a consumer product, and when launched by founder Tom Dickson it boasted that it could “Blend Anything”. This tagline smacks of the usual advertising rhetoric we’re used to, and under other circumstances would not convince any mildly sceptical consumer. However, the Blendtec demonstration video campaign embraces one simple concept; demonstrating their USP.
Their awesome demonstration video campaign, Will it Blend? verifies and tests the USP to the extreme, successfully blending iPads, power tools, golf clubs, video-game consoles and more. This campaign keeps both the content and the brand entertaining, shareable, topical but most importantly, authentic. This strategy has built a massive brand fan base with demonstration video views topping 218 million, but simultaneously raises its product above the competitions with the entertaining, yet simple productions.
Blendtec is a fantastic strategy to emulate in order to sell your product or service, and one that as marketers we’ve largely forgotten. The allure of viral video, entertaining mass audiences and racking up social statistics has skewed our objectives and we’ve neglected the simple idea that demonstrating the quality of your product is key to converting sales. Furthermore, if you’re creative like Blendtec, why not have it all?