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Digital videos – keep it real!

 Samsung expected to make a big splash at last week’s CTIA Wireless conference with its unveiling of a new Galaxy Tab. They didn’t, however, count on a lot of online flak regarding the video they produced to support the launch. Harry McCracken, editor of Technologizer, makes a pretty compelling case that the "real-life" users in the video are actually paid actors. His posts have attracted a good deal of attention and quite a few reader comments. What does this have to do with the merits of the new Tab and how it stacks up against the iPad 2? Absolutely nothing – and that’s exactly Samsung’s problem. 

Well produced videos have the ability to convey an organization’s story in a quick, compelling manner. And, hopefully, a sense of trust is established with the target audience. In order to ensure this bond, it should be assumed that discerning viewers will do a little digging to make sure that the claims made by a company are factual. It doesn’t have to be many viewers. All it takes is one viewer unearthing something questionable – and the viral power of the Internet may take over, potentially doing serious damage to a company’s campaign. 

There are times when it makes sense to use hired actors in a video. But any time the project involves customer testimonials, there is no substitute for the genuine emotions and experiences of real users. They may not spit out the PR team’s key messages exactly as scripted, but audiences aren’t interested in robots reciting lines. Nothing resonates better than honesty. 

Be creative, but be completely up front with your audience. Trying to gain traction against competitors like Apple is tough enough; having the attention of customers and industry thought leaders diverted by such silly miscues only makes the challenge more formidbale. No matter what you do, keep it real!

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John Moran

John Moran

Vice President / Executive Media Coach at MSLGROUP

John assists top executives with media training, message development and presentation skills. John also represents a range of clients and is a founding member of the MSLGROUP digital team in Boston.

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