Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 5:33 PM ET|Posted by Will RichmondA new study of user-generated video product reviews has found that they contain the same kinds of persuasiveness and memorability traits as found in professionally-produced advertisements, therefore suggesting that they offer significant complementary value. In the study, comScore used its content assessment methodology, "ARS Zipline," to score a sample of 25 user-generated product reviews from EXPO Communications' database. They were compared to professional video ads drawn from the comScore ARS database.
The scoring process focused on the user-generated reviews' persuasiveness and memorability, based on rational, emotional and structural attributes. Of the 25 reviews, 17 (68%) scored at least in the average range while 8 (32%) scored above average. The key takeaway is that some product reviewers intuitively convey persuasiveness and memorability even absent the rigorous development and testing employed in the professional ad process. The study found that reviewers tended to focus more on the product and its attributes, driving home key messages around product convenience and quality, both of which increase persuasiveness.
One conclusion to draw from the study is that user-generated video product reviews can augment professionally-developed ad campaigns. The authenticity of voice is extremely valuable and is similar to what has helped drive the popularity of user-submitted information sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and others. In this context, even though the study was sponsored by EXPO, the results ring true to me.
Another conclusion to draw is that as video amateurs have become more comfortable with video - often through their extensive experience with YouTube uploads - they've gained the skills necessary to have an impact. This is an example of "purpose-driven UGC," an idea I've written about previously. Marketers would be wise to learn how to capitalize on these trends.
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Note: comScore and EXPO will be hosting a webinar on Nov. 3rd to further explain the data.
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