How can you sell what you can’t demonstrate?

By: Richard Michie

You won’t be surprised to hear that I’m an eager consumer of ads and marketing. One thing that has always perplexed me is, how do you market an improvement to something via its own medium?

I’m talking about TV’s

Until recently we had an old TV, not a big box thing, a flat-ish screen, but it was old. We knew we wanted to get a new one when it was hard to read the programme descriptions on Netflix. But being a well-rounded Yorkshireman, I’ve been putting it off.

Whilst I’ve been procrastinating about getting a new telly, I’ve seen the ads for new screens, from curved – which apparently are only any good if you sit in the exact right spot, to 3D – another waste, as there’s virtually no content to watch, and the whole family need special glasses to enjoy it.

How can I see it’s better?

One of the best TV ads for a TV in recent years is the Sony Bravia bouncing balls ad. The ad is stunning, CGI balls bounce through the city. The ad was so good lots of people wondered how on earth they cleaned up all the mess afterwards.

The kicker is, no matter how good the ad is and how amazing the picture on the Bravia TV, I was watching it through my old TV with its inferior screen. So how on earth could I tell if the picture on Sony’s screen was as amazing as they said. The only option is to go to the shop.

But you soon find out, when you go TV shopping, that TV stores are a really bad place to see how good a TV is.

  • Unlike your home, they generally have strip lighting in the shop
  • They are displayed in aisles facing each other so you get loads of reflection off the screen opposite
  • These aisles are too close together so you can get the same view you will at home
  • Loads of other customers stand in front of the TV you want to buy so you can’t see it anyway!
  • The screens always look smaller than they are simply because you’re comparing them to the enormous 80 inch screen the shop has in a prominent spot

So, how do you sell a TV?

To really see how a new TV is, you need a set up like your own home. I can’t think of any other way. While some higher end stores have special viewing rooms, which attempt to recreate your home viewing experience, most TV manufacturers aren’t afforded that privilege.

Here’s a thought.

When you buy a new TV, why isn’t there a referral system so that when your friends and neighbours pop round and exclaim “That’s a lovely TV you’ve got, we need a new one just like that” you can give them a code or a voucher for a referral sale?

Seems such a simple scheme, I’m surprised I’ve never heard of it.

How do you sell a TV when you don’t want it to look like a TV?

There’s a new trend in TV’s now. Making TV’s look like they aren’t TV’s. Really flat screens fitted to walls look awful when they’re turned off, so there’s a wave of telly’s which can now display artwork when they’re not showing Match of the Day.

Which brings me to this very odd ad Samsung are running for their Frame TV. Apart from the very odd 70’s type photography used by the influencer for the ad, they’ve chosen to hide the TV so it just looks like a picture frame. Not really sure what’s going on here, but the comments under the post reveal what customers are thinking.

Interested in speaking to The Optimists?

Right from the beginning of our time working with The Marketing Optimist, they’ve taken the time and effort to get to understand Sharp Consultancy as a business and not just a client. We’ve seen a huge increase in the effectiveness of our social media strategy, particularly on Linkedin and we’re delighted with the impact it’s had on the business.

Jamie Caulfield

Regional Director, Sharp Consultancy

It was a pleasure to work with The Marketing Optimist on this project. It felt like a true collaborative effort on the day and they made the interviewee's feel at ease whilst talking about their journey on our RISE programme. The final video was professional and engaging, we have received great feedback around the quality and creativity of the case study. Including the video in our presentation made it come to life, with real humans sharing their stories, so thank you to the Marketing Optimist!

Hannah Prole

Impact Manager, Better Connect Limited

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