User Generated Testimonial Videos

One of the latest trends in user generated video content to hit the scenes at
last week’s Video on the Net Conference was user generated testimonials. The
idea being that video is hard to beat when it comes to generating authentic
reviews.

Two companies going after this market from different angles are
RealityAdz and
Qoof.

Steve Harmon from RealityAdz made a presentation where he explained that
consumers are sick of hearing typical corporate spin churned out by PR firms and
would love to hear the stories of real customers who have experience with the
products or services they’re shopping for. As an example, he showed ad from
Hughes Network
Systems
for their satellite Internet service where actors giving glowing
testimonials about how fast and reliable the service is compared to the dial-up
connections people in rural communities continue to rely on in many areas of the
country. That was followed by this RealityAdz review of the service by a Hughes
customer who taped the response time of Hughes’ service while complaining about
the speeds.The point being that the actual consumer testimonial is more more credible,
although it’s a few million impressions behind the Hughes produced and
distributed spots at this point.

RealityAdz appears to be trying to become the clearinghouse for videotaped
consumer complaints.

Qoof appears to be going after the exact opposite end of the consumer reviews
spectrum by collecting reviews of products consumers love. Users tape themselves
praising products they love and upload them to Qoof. Once loaded, the videos are
tagged with an Amazon affiliate link, so people clicking through from the video
to Amazon.com and purchasing the product (or, for that matter, purchasing
anything on Amazon after clicking through) will generate revenue for the Qoof
user to the tune of ~5% depending on product category and sales volumes.

The Qoof booth was taping product demos during the VON conference. Here’s one
they did with me for the Canon SD800 camera.

Qoof’d reviews can be shared via email or embedded into other sites. Look for an
upcoming interview with Qoof on Technology Evangelist over the next few days.

People have used YouTube for this purpose in the past, including to complain
about the JetBlue runway fiasco in February 2007. Is this a market that needs
stand-alone sites like RealityAdz or Qoof, or will this become a sub-section of
YouTube?



What do you think? Do video testimonials bring more credibility than written
reviews? Have you ever sought out video reviews or created one?

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