Autodemo is turning 19. Some might consider that an odd numbered anniversary to celebrate, but we love looking back at where we’ve been. Autodemo has started to run Throwback Thursday blogs dedicated to our personal history. However, we wanted to spotlight the history of the demo video. What some might consider to be a recent marketing development has roots going back decades.
The earliest ancestor of what would become video marketing started in 1941. The watch company Bulova bought a $4 TV ad during a NYC area broadcast of a Yankees game. While not a demo or explainer video in the traditional sense, it was the first attempt at advancing video marketing. While the clip runs at a scant 10 seconds, the animation shows the consumer how smooth a Bulova watch runs. All the while, the background image of America reinforces Bulova’s brand message.
The History of Demo Videos begins with an understanding of the demo. A demo video has an inherent value that can’t be matched by a print or radio ad. Combining all of the sensory inputs of the informed consumer, the demo places them as close to a final product/service as possible. Over the next 65 years, this model would be tweaked on TV and emerging venues to match consumer needs. AT&T showed us how to reach out and touch someone, while Billy Mays demonstrated everything from OxyClean to Miracle Mops.
High-speed internet became popularized in America circa 2003. This development quickly followed the mass launch of Adobe’s Flash software which helped to create easier streaming video for multiple platforms. More information about the history of web video delivery can be found here. But, what made the difference for video marketing and high-speed internet? The answer is simple, it’s YouTube. Starting in 2006, Blendtec and Dove took the first pioneering steps to a better demo platform. Hopefully, it looked better than the Bulova ad.
Blendtec began running its “Will It Blend” ad content spots on YouTube. Designed to run as a viral clip, Blendtec demonstrated the durability of its blenders against anything an audience could name. They blended meat, marbles and all sorts of weird donated materials. 10 years later, “Will It Blend” remains the most watched demo commercial video in history. Dove didn’t go for the exact same numbers, but they wanted virality. Basically, Dove was centering a sociological discussion around their Evolution campaign & industry needs.
By 2011, 145 million consumers were watching online video. While that might seem impressive, that number has grown dramatically in the last 5 years. Just look at how information transmission has changed. The Under 35 consumer base is almost completely digital and prefer social media sharing. Video sharing now proliferates at a 92% completion rate. Meaning that 92% of all consumers are willing to share a demo video now.
Browse the infographic
The infographic below comes to us from Conductor. Over 65% of the consumer population are visual learners. This number only grows with each passing generation. Will your business be like one of the old titans that called Bulova crazy for advertising on TV? The Internet is the new media and the choice of the consumers that you want to reach. Feel free to browse the infographic and see the leaps that demo and other marketing videos have taken over the 75 years.