Thursday, November 6, 2014

Top 5 Start-up Videos - Researching and Writing

An article by Teri Saya


Many times your editor will send you an assignment such as "write an article about the top 5 start-up videos. Keep the descriptions short and use links, I want it by tomorrow" with no other instructions. You feel like someone just threw you into a maze. As a journalist or writer, you cannot use anyone else's descriptions, this has to be uniquely your own. 

First of all, what the heck is a start-up video? I went online and found the answer, then wrote a paragraph consisting of what I had learned from blogs online. I made this paragraph as unique as I could.......

Start-up videos are a tool for selling a minimal viable product (MVP), which means a product with the highest return on investment versus risk. Each video is under 4 minutes long. Cost of production varies upon the type of video. These are a list of the top 5 that helped these companies expand…..some to amazing proportions.

The next step was to research these videos and find the most popular ones. This was not an easy task. I ended up with quite a long list and had to narrow it down to only five. Researching and cross referencing, I was able to come up with these five that seemed to be the best on the Internet. Click on the titles below to view the described video.

#5 - Dropbox: 2 minutes, 17 seconds.

Using cutouts, this video is aimed at the average computer user, with words such as “magic pocket” to describe an online file folder. The narrator tells us about the character, Josh, who is planning a trip to Africa, and shows us how Dropbox consolidates and synchronizes his files, accessible from any component with Internet access. I liked this video because of its unassuming and straightforward approach.

#4 - Panorama 9 IT Man: 2 minutes, 41 seconds

Bringing back memories of pixelated video games, this one is narrated by a voice reminiscent of “Rocky & Bullwinkle.”  IT Man takes you through the pitfalls of not having an Information Technology Management System such as Panorama 9. The dialog is funny and even more humorous for anyone who works in an IT department… “IT Man has to crawl around his network, wasting time on manually updating spreadsheets and Visio charts until his hands and knees are bleeding!”

#3 - Pad Mapper: 1 minute, 40 seconds

PadMapper is a web app to help people find available apartments on a map generated by Google.  This animated video is engaging, funny, and informative. With childlike whimsy using stick people and simple drawings, this well done video puts across that this apartment rental search engine can be an extremely powerful and user-friendly tool. Wish I had this thing back in 2008 when I was looking for a place to stay. Just one day after this video was posted on YouTube, Ashton Kutcher tweeted, “this might be my favorite instructional video ever!”

#2 - Dollar Shave Club: 1 minute, 33 seconds.

In 2012, this video went viral on YouTube and within 48 hours, the Dollar Shave Club had 12,000 orders. With the tag line "Shave Time, Shave Money," the target customer is men, but even though I am a woman, I really liked this video. Mike Dubin, the founder of DSC and actor in this video, sucks you in right away with the line, "Are the blades any good? No....Our blades are f***ing great!" I could not help giggling at this cocky, humorous, and intelligent pitch for his company. The video begins in his office in a warehouse and gives you a mini-tour while Mike tells you the fine points of using his product. Spoiler-alert! There is a bear involved. The idea behind Dollar Shave Club is this; You buy their shavers and for a very minimal fee, you get fresh blades delivered to your home every month. What a great idea! Hey, I have plenty of men in my family and, not that I’m a hairy beast, but I have plenty of parts to shave as well. Count me in!

#1 - Hoverboard & Flyboard: 3 minutes, 26 seconds.

This video begins like an action film. Three people dressed in black, break into a warehouse, pull out a crate with the words “Do not open until October 21, 2015,” printed on the outside. They crack it open and pull out a Hoverboard.
The next few scenes are breathtaking shots of the Hoverboards and Flyboards in action. The reaction of the spectators is contagious! Filmed in Cancun, Mexico by Devin Graham (aka Devinsupertramp,) the product in the video most definitely sells itself. Flying 10 to 20 feet into the air over crystal blue water, then diving in and jetting through it like a dolphin? Wow! Watching this video, you will find yourself saying, “I want one!”

Note: October 21, 2015 is “Back to the Future Day.” Look it up.



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