The Power of Video: Confirmation of a Simple Truth

Last week’s widespread coverage of NFL running back Race Rice’s domestic violence episode fueled sharp criticism of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his handling of the situation. Rice initially received a 2-game suspension, but when TMZ released a video of Rice knocking out his then fiancé in an Atlantic City elevator, the story went viral. After reviewing the video, the Baltimore Ravens immediately released Rice from his $35M contract, and the NFL suspended Rice indefinitely. What was it about the video that created such a dramatic turn of events for this NFL star?

That same dynamic is also playing out on the international stage with the recent videos of the brutal beheadings of American and British citizens produced by the Islamic State. It’s one thing to read in the paper about an American journalist being executed by a radical Islamic group. But, it is quite another to actually watch a highly personal and unforgettable video of such a cowardly and evil act. The videos produced by ISIS are largely responsible for causing a sea change in American public opinion. Now, the majority of U.S. citizens are in favor of an American military response to counter the growing threat of the Islamic State.

These two illustrations confirm a simple truth: video is an extraordinarily powerful means of establishing an emotional connection with people and instigating action. Not only is video effective, but it has become ubiquitous. In 2013, according to “Fast Company,” 72 hours of video was uploaded to YouTube every minute. Furthermore, according to a recent report by Animoto, 73% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase after watching videos explain a product or service, while 96% of respondents said they find videos “helpful” when making purchase decisions. Interestingly, 58% of respondents consider companies that produce video content to be more trustworthy.

Despite these compelling statistics, we find only a small percentage of our customers consider incorporating videos in their POP displays. So if nearly three-quarters of consumers are more likely to purchase after watching a video, why is it that more of our customers don’t consider point-of-sale video? There are a number of reasons:

  1. Most customers look at point-of-purchase displays as an expense rather than an investment. They are reluctant to spend money on displays in general and even more reluctant to add a video monitor which can be the most expensive component of a display. While this thinking is understandable, it does not make economic sense for most products if you believe the data in the study above. If the video can provide even a modest amount of sales lift, the incremental profit from those sales would likely more than pay for the cost of adding the video.

  2. Customers are concerned that they may not have access to power in their assigned retail location. This is something that needs to be explored with retailers on a case-by-case basis, but in our experience if a brand can present the retailer with an attractive display that incorporates video, the retailer is likely to find a way to arrange access to a power source. In the event that access to an electrical plug is not possible, there is always the option of using battery powered video monitors. A 24-count D-Cell battery brick has an estimated play time of over 26,000 30-second advertising spots.

  3. Customers believe their product is simple and does not require an educational sale. Even if you have a simple product that requires little explanation or instruction, incorporating video into your retail display can pay dividends. Videos can increase shopper engagement, provide entertainment value, and help to differentiate your product from other competitive products. A simple but well executed video can enable you to connect emotionally with your target shoppers and convert them to customers.

  4. Customers don’t feel they have the skills or budget to make a professional video.
    With an HD video camera and standard video editing software, almost anyone can make an effective video. If you are not up for doing it yourself, there are lots of freelancers and video creation companies out there that can help at a relatively low cost. The cost of content creation has come down in recent years so don’t let your inexperience with video making stop you from gaining incremental sales at retail.

Our Last Lecture on POP Displays includes a much more in-depth discussion of various video options to consider.

There are many ways to incorporate videos into point-of-purchase displays. The three examples below show just a few ways we have worked with customers to incorporate video players into countertop and floor displays.

Next time you find yourself making excuses for not incorporating video into your POP display, remember the Ray Rice and ISIS videos and the emotional impact you experienced.


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