Martin: Recently I’ve been reading that YouTube may start paying video producers for their work sometime in 2007. More than likely the site will run lead-in ads at the front of the more popular videos and share the ad revenue with the video producers. Some stories I’ve read say this opens the door for business to use YouTube.
As Bob noted in a recent post, marketing using audio and video is powerful. Some marketing folks see that and are already using YouTube to show product features. But here’s what can happen. Both BMW and Lexus have videos up showing automated parking, which would seem like a cool feature. Each video shows how easy it is to parallel park each car. Now on the other hand, YouTube also increases the risk of consumers looking into any glossed over issues and allows someone to point out these in a public forum.
Take Automobile Magazine’s test parking of the Lexus. Its result was very different. The three guys in the car couldn’t have been more frustrated with each other or the Lexus’ inability to park perpendicular. Almost like an Abbott and Costello routine, the video shows repeated attempts and the car still isn’t parked. (Buy the way, the video opens showing how quickly the testers parked the car manually.)
See for yourself the problems they ran into. Watching the Lexus made video and the product test aren’t endorsement for automated parking. Here’s the rub -- YouTube may evolve into a powerful medium for companies to positively present products, but any unhappy customer with a video camera can post the antithesis. So be ready for prime time when you go there. Stay honest. And prepare to respond. (I didn't find a response to this test by Lexus.)