Like a lot of people, I saw the new Samsung GALAXY Note video ad over the weekend--the one that shows off all the bells and whistles of the upcoming buzzed-about device. I was struck by how different this ad is from some contemporary smartphone and gadget ads, from Apple's iPhone commercials to Verizon's Droid spots. And that's when I realized the diversity in gadget marketing online is proof that brands can achieve online video marketing success through a variety of styles, forms, and tones.
One of the most common formats for gadget ads is the straightforward product demonstration video. Typically this involves a nice, HD, shot of the device in use, dazzling the viewer with its capabilities. The new Samsung GALAXY Note video falls perfectly into this category. They don't rely on a celebrity, or even a catchy script. It's just, "here's our new device and the awesome things it can do."
Check it out:
Some folks would say that Apple's iPhone and iPad commercials fall into the first category, Product Demonstration. And they do. But they're something else entirely. Apple has built it's massive wealth by appealing to viewers' sense of status. The "cool" factor. Sure, the "If you don't have an iPhone" commercials demonstrated the product's capabilities, but the main thrust of the ad isn't what the phone can do, but how you should feel if you don't have one. Check it out:
The latest ad from Wacom for the new Inkling device is done in much the same format. The gadget, and it's ease of use, are front and center:
Entertainment & Humor
Some gadget brands are full-on embracing the social video marketing style of entertainment-over-ads. This type of video marketing leans more on long-term brand awareness to drive sales, and the immediate goal of the video is simply to entertain the viewer.
Like T-Mobile, who I'm sure would love for you to buy their products... but first they want to put on a broadway-style musical number in an airport:
Google found plenty of people entertained by their custom interactive YouTube video game promoting the Nexus S:
Some gadgets use a personality to help draw the audience in. Not a celebrity, exactly, but a created persona or character that recurs throughout an entire series of ads.
Like the Playstation Vice President, Kevin Butler:
T-Mobile, mentioned above for being fans of the Entertainment style of advertising, also uses personality marketing with their television commercials:
Which is, of course, a poor imitation (or a poor homage) to the now-classic personality-driven ads from Apple's "I'm a Mac" series:
Then, of course, you have a category in which Verizon and Motorola seem to have taken up permanent residence--the abstract ad. Apparently these companies believe you don't want to see a device in action, but rather would prefer to see inexplicable mini action and sci-fi movies like this one:
Or this one:
Brands and businesses have more paths to online video success than they tend to think they do. They'd be wise to look at the gadget and smartphone brands of the world, who have demonstrated a wide variety of ways to go viral, generate buzz, and engage viewers.