Consumers Produce Haul-ful Videos

Discussion
Jun 02, 2011
George Anderson

1. Kids go shopping at the mall.

2. Kids buy stuff.

3. Kids show off what they bought on YouTube.

4. Other kids go shopping for the same stuff and more.



That is the scenario that plays out on a daily basis across America as teens and young adults go online to show off their latest purchases in "haul videos." Nearly 300,000 such videos currently reside on YouTube, according to an ABC News report, with several generating views in the millions.

Not wanting to leave all the fun to YouTube, online blogs and channels dedicated to haul videos such as Haul Videos! and Haul.TV have sprung up. Consumers going to Haul.TV can see videos listed by posting date or product category.

Retailers including American Eagle, J.C. Penney and Urban Outfitters have tried to make use of haul videos to create buzz around seasonal collections. Several have offered incentives in the way of drawings and gift cards to help get haulers excited about creating videos. A RetailWire survey from August of last year found that 57 percent believed haul videos represent a "big opportunity" for retail marketers.

Discussion Questions: How do haul videos fit into the overall social marketing strategy of merchants and brands? Should retailers be attempting to “influence” haul video makers?

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7 Comments on "Consumers Produce Haul-ful Videos"


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Ralph Jacobson
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

Retailers need to be careful in their efforts to influence anything on social media of all types. The whole attraction to social media, including YouTube is that there is less control of the conversation amongst consumers. Retailers have gotten into trouble when they try to overtly steer the direction of a certain campaign and it can often backfire. Participation in the “haul” videos is great for the retailers, however it should encourage the open conversation, rather than turning it into an obvious promotion attempt.

Dan Berthiaume
Guest
Dan Berthiaume
9 years 11 months ago

Any promotional video a retailer does not have to pay anything to create can only be a good thing. Also, a real teen displaying their wares has a lot more credibility with fellow teens than a paid actor or even celebrity spokesperson. Encouraging haul videos with prizes and contests is a great way to make sure your store gets its share of haul videos. Naturally, youth-oriented retailers will get a lot more out of these videos than retailers where parents and grandparents shop.

Roger Saunders
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

Welcome to the “Digital Age”. The social media solution is not brand new. It does belong on the plate of media allocation for for merchants.

The days of placing 80% of budgets on television, and then heading to lunch are long gone. The consumer — and not just this teen — but her parents, are viewing these types of messages.

By closely listening to how media, used in an integrated fashion, influences purchase decisions of consumers, retailers and manufacturers can build better media models. CMOs have to take the leadership role, admit that they don’t have the complete set of answers, and insist that their departments and agencies evaluate a list of over 30 different media forms — not just models from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Cathy Hotka
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

Haul videos give retailers a way of communicating with key audiences, predicting trends, and learning more about who’s buying what they’re selling. Teen retailers, in particular, should consider incenting more of their customers to make them…

Mikhail Romanov
Guest
Mikhail Romanov
9 years 11 months ago

Ralph Jacobson is spot on. Promotions would undermine the credibility of the consumer.

Tony Orlando
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

It could be a huge win for the company promoting it, IF the product meets or exceeds expectations. On the other hand, if someone is not happy, then the whole social media thing can blow up against you, plus hackers from competitors can run a video degrading the product, by using hired guns to talk smack. The free market can hurt you or help you, and increasingly, there are some serious nut jobs online, spewing lies, and other bad stuff.

Bill Bittner
Guest
Bill Bittner
8 years 8 months ago
This whole concept reminds me of an observation of the use of data which said “The significance of data is inversely related to the cost of collecting it.” The point being, that as data becomes cheaper to collect and we know every little transaction, the impact of knowing each incremental transaction becomes less. Think about how cheap it has become to post an online product video. With a digital SLR, some simple computer skills, and an interesting story to tell. a retailer can offer both consumers and suppliers a whole new perspective of the products which are being offered. Offering this kind of service would help the retailer retain their significance with both parties. It seems this would be a great opportunity for the membership retailers. The retailer’s members would have exclusive access to the videos that compare products in various categories. Customers could use the videos to identify which products meet their specific needs. Vendors could use the videos to instruct consumers for product set up or special applications. The challenge will be separating… Read more »
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