Juice

We are spending a few days with our friend and business partner, Ernest Bujok.

Ernie has recently bought a house in Tuscany, so he invited us (and about a dozen other people) to drop in for a few days.  

The house is lovely, if still a work in progress, but at breakfast yesterday, we all had fresh squeezed orange juice.  The oranges are easy to come by, and the juicer was an industrial standard machine, made in Australia by a company called Breville.

This being the world of the Internet, I immediately went on line to order one from Williams-Sonoma in New York, so it would be there when we got home.

The order site for the juicer had all the standard information about the product you normally expect, plus it had a video.

I can’t embed the video from Williams-`Sonoma, but take a minute to take a look at it. There is something very interesting here

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/e193/index.cfm?pkey=celtbjc&ckey=eltbjc

The Breville Company, which I am sure makes very good juicers (I just bought one!), makes terrible video!

Terrible!

I have come to the site because I want information on a juicer. And what do they give me? A travelogue on Australia! Who asked for that?

The quality of the video should be commensurate with the quality of the product they are trying to sell.

It is not.  The video is crap. On many levels, both content and editorial.

As video moves to the web, companies are going to start producing video for the web in droves.  Breville is not alone.  But the quality of the video is far far from the quality of both the text and the product (we hope).

Why did Breville, in its first shot at video, suddenly turn into The Travel Channel? or the Australian Chamber of Commerce? All I was hoping for was a short video that would really show me the product up close.

When the printing press was invented in 1452, our only experience with books was with religious texts.  So it stood to reason that when the first books were published, they would also be religious texts.  This is what we were used to for ‘books’.

Up until now, video has been the domain of news and TV shows.  It stands to reason, in a strange way, that when everyone starts to produce video, they will naturally gravitate toward the formats that they feel most comfortable with – hence Breville starts making travel videos about Australia, which then bleeds into a kind of very badly shot psuedo TODAY SHOW segment on juicers.  

Its interesting because it is so limited.

But it also means that a massive, almost unbelievable opportunity exists for the creative VJ with a camera, a laptop and the ability to think out of the box.

Breville is not alone. Quite literally thousands and thousands of companies are going to need video produced for their websites. And like Breville, they are not in the video business, and like Breville, should not be! 

But their need for content – content specific to their product, is real. And judging from the Breville video (and a half dozen others I found when I searched Youtube for Breville Juicer) this is largely untouched territory.

Of course, I immediately wrote to Breville to tell them what crap their video was.  

I am still waiting for an answer… but, of course, it’s Sunday.

5 responses to “Juice

  1. I have a Breville juicer and it’s great!
    I guess the questions they would ask are:
    1) How much would it cost to make a good video?
    2) Would it improve sales?

    To really make an impact, people have to write in and say “I was going to buy one of your juicers, but the poor video on your website made me decide not to.”

    Actually, I think there is really a great opportunity here for VJ’s. Traditionally a product company would hire a video production company who would work with the marketing managers, sales managers, company president/owner, and spend thousands of dollars. Today, an individual VJ could do pretty well making product videos for a reasonable fee.

    To some degree this is already happening, but it is very confusing for the manufacturing companies. There are many, many guys (and gals) out there who are offering to make videos for $100 and then they do a crappy job. This makes the product company distrust the VJ model and go back to the the more expensive production company, or equally likely, put it into the hands of the kid who works in the mailroom who just got a new video camera and is willing to do it for free. The company figures they have a video now, and because it’s on their web page it doesn’t have to be that good anyway.

    And there’s the rub. There is an expectation that web video can be bad. Look at YouTube – it’s the biggest web video site and it’s 99.99% poor quality. The bar has to be raised, so companies that have the resources to pay people to make video, understand that they should have good looking, intelligent and effective videos on their websites.

  2. I’ve been booked for a shoot on Thursday. We are making a series of podcasts as part of the launch of a new product… I’ll link after it’s launched… but the company has done a lot of research on this and in the production meeting they said there are only two ways to shoot successfully for the net at the moment. Shoot sh!t for sh!t and hope it picks up a cult following or go as high end quality as you can. Quality podacsts get more viewers… a lot more viewers, it’s that simple.
    They have a very up market product so they are going very high end.
    Originally they planed to shoot this 35mm film.
    The post production costs and timetable killed that but now we have the budget to run steadicam, a mini jib and all sorts of cool toys… purely for the internet.
    Interesting times.

  3. if I get an answer from breville, I will pass it on to you.🙂

  4. Pencil – it sounds like you have a smart client. Don’t forget the big HMI’s and the special wide angle lens that has to be flown in from LA.

  5. Pingback: Content Quality Matters When You Want to Sell Something « Predicate, LLC | Editorial + Content Strategy

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