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Is video magic

December 27th, 2005

Is video magic?

Let me ask you a different question…

Is the Internet magic?

Not that long ago, some business people
actually thought that the Internet was magic.

They believed ANYTHING you put up on
the Internet would work.

This was called the ‘Dot Com’ Era.

Or maybe – with the benefit of 20-20
hindsight – we should call it the
‘Dot Com’ Error.

The error being that in the tremendous
excitement created by the coming
of the Internet, many people forgot
that business ideas – no matter how
glamorous – eventually have to pay
their own way.

Events demonstrated that the Internet
alone was not magic.

… And video on the Internet will prove
it’s not magic either.

But it will be powerful when used

— What’s wrong with this picture?

Sometimes the best way to learn how
to do something right is to watch
other people getting it wrong.

In this issue, I’m going to point out
a site that at the moment (12- 23-05)
is not getting it.

The company is called Ross-Simons and
they have a substantial print catalog
that sells jewelry.

If you want to look at the site and
form your own impression if it before
you read my comments, you can see it here.
What do you think? Good, bad or so-so?


NOTE: As of 1-15-06, the company has pulled
its video content off the web. My guess is
their use of video did not help their sales.

Read on to see how they got it wrong.

Video alone is not magic.   

This Christmas Shopping season Ross-Simons
decided to try their hand at video on their
web site.

Good move.

But apparently, they’re not subscribers
to the Internet Video Marketing Sales

Or if they are, they didn’t read the
"Talking Heads" issue.

The Ross-Simons site features a
Soap Opera heroine gushing over the
company’s newest line of jewelry
interspersed with video messages from
the company’s CEO. 

Lessons to be learned from this

1. Acting and selling on TV are two very
different skills. 

Don’t assume that a show biz type personality
will always (or ever) work in a selling situation,
especially on TV. 

2. The CEO of a company is not
always the best spokesman for a
company’s product line, especially
when the customers are women
and the CEO is a pleasant and
intelligent, but not very sexy
middle aged man.

3. There are situations where "talking
heads" can work on TV and we’ll take
a look at some of these situations in future

But meanwhile, it’s safe to say that talking
heads is not a great way to sell jewelry.

Ross-Simons would do well to study the
QVC model of leaving the selling to
experienced host/salespeoples and making
sure that the models are seen but not heard.

It’s a tried and true formula that goes
back decades to the showrooms of
the garment district in New York and
probably to Paris before that.

Observe and learn – and applaud Ross-Simons
for having the guts to be pioneers even
if they did get it wrong. 

(Because they’re in the game early, they’ll
eventually figure it out before most of their

NOTE: As of 1-15-06, the company has pulled
its video content off the web. My guess is
their use of video did not help their sales.

Video alone is not magic.   



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