The types of online video are close to countless. Each hold different roles and purposes, and all are essential in the media sphere. For the first project, we were told to submit a presentation that summarises the close reading of an online video practice. Through this case study, I was able to get a better understanding of the practice I’ve chosen and why it is present and made available to viewers.
I decided to go with video reviews, as I personally enjoy watching them in my free time. As unusual as it may sound, they are my go-to type of online video whenever I feel stressed or restless. It’s informative and fun to watch, especially when it comes to gadget reviews.
For this case study, I decided to go with one of my favourite tech-reviewers, Marques Brownlee. In the following video, he reviews Apple’s latest flagship smartphone, the iPhone 6. It was an interesting watch, seeing as how he is more of a Googler; he prefers the wide variety of Google programmes and services over what Apple has to offer.
1. What are video reviews?
Reviews inform and educate viewers on a specific product or service in the form of a video. It is done by close inspection and discussion, all while providing one’s personal opinion(s) on the said subject. Video reviews can be as short as three minutes or as lengthy as twenty, depending on how concise it is.
2. What kind of things can be reviewed?
There is a wide range of things that can be reviewed – from games and gadgets, to food and cosmetics, to a service or programme. In the above example, Brownlee is a tech-reviewer reviewing Apple’s latest iPhone.
Reviews have been around for quite some time now, and it has gained a number of audiences, from tech geeks and potential customers, to creators and other reviewers. It also appeals to people like me, who simply enjoy listening to people talk tech.
4. How is it done?
To begin with, the product or service is purchased or attained. Some brief information is then given, before going into all the little details. It is then tested out. At the end of the video, the reviewer gives a short conclusion of how he/she feels about it.
5. Who does the reviews?
Some reviewers are paid to do their job, whereas some simply do it out of interest. And on the other hand, there are also people like you and I! Basically, anybody with a video camera is capable of making a video review. All it takes is some interest and enthusiasm.
6. When are reviews done?
Reviews are most popular when it comes to a new product in the market. For instance, the iPhone 6 is a relatively new gadget and Brownlee was among the first to review it when it made its appearance last year. Reviews also work when it is trending product or service – viewers are more eager to watch them if it makes a popular topic of discussion. Additionally, product reviews can also be done upon purchasing something at any given point of time, whether or not it is new to the market.
7. The importance of video reviews
It brings to light the pros and cons of a product or service, and provides essential information that are not usually highlighted in advertisements. Seeing as how it is a hands-on experience, reviewers are able to create content that describes his/her experience as a customer and consumer. This also aids the decision-making process for other potential buyers or users.
As it is for billions of other consumers, the web is my primary source of information when I consider a purchase. (Scott, 2013)
8. Individual opinion
The best part about reviewing a product is being able to be straightforward and honest. Be it praise or criticism, reviews are vital as they provide constructive suggestions for improvement, and also personal verdicts upon testing a product or service. For example, Brownlee compares the iPhone 6 with other flagship phones in the market – he expresses his distaste upon the smoothness of its exterior, claiming that it is rather slippery in the hand.
9. Feedback and comments
Video reviews are often uploaded to YouTube, and this usually allows consumers to contribute their personal opinions through the comments section. They give more insight to the product or service by describing their personal experiences. Most times, you are also able to see the type of consumers and they agree or disagree with what is being reviewed. In the case of Brownlee’s video review, the comments from Apple ‘fanboys’ and Android users are like the parting of the Red Sea.
When people come to you online, they are not looking for TV commercials. They are looking for information to help them make a decision. (Scott, 2013)
10. Role in the industry
With reviews, creators and developers are able to understand things from a consumer’s viewpoint. It encourages them to improve or upgrade their product or service in order to ensure more satisfactory results. It creates a standard. Furthermore, it is one of the ways that brands can receive recognition.
Having all that said, video reviews are an example of an online video practice that play a great role in the industry. It educates and informs, and even promotes a product’s strengths and weaknesses without being biased.
Sometimes advertisements are used to brainwash, but reviews have the ability to make someone come to his/her senses. You discover the good and the bad, and ultimately come to a conclusion. As a consumer, I find importance in video reviews because it helps me decide which brand or product I might want to invest in.
I actually began this case study excited about how much I like watching video reviews, but I’ve come to see and realise greater roles and importance in this form of ‘enjoyment’.
Scott, David Meerman. The New Rules Of Marketing Et PR. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2013. Print.