Project Description

Making decisions is never easy. People almost always seek reassurance before they commit. In the past we would take the advice of anyone around who could give it, this was usually the person trying to sell us the product or service.

With the advent of review sites, people are now reluctant to commit to even trivial purchases without first getting unbiased advice from a third party, preferably many people. Testimonials offer marketers the chance to capture the third party endorsements customers crave. And they have a special power because of the “misattribution effect”. People forget that a testimonial was part of a video and recall it as a recommendation from a friend – which is the gold standard of marketing. But there’s a catch to using testimonials.

During my time as National Creative Director of Austereo, we instigated a huge research project to understand what made ads work. One of the fascinating outcomes was how people reacted to testimonials. Firstly they were generally quite skeptical about them, some people didn’t believe them at all, even though all the ones we tested were genuine. People who watched a lot of infomercials with well written and slickly presented testimonials were highly skeptical. The testimonials that people believed most were very clearly unrehearsed, often with bad grammar and stumbles.

I have learned in making videos of testimonials to always keep the camera rolling, often the little asides that people make between the questions is where the magic is. This is where the truth comes out.

And while you go into any interview situation with a set of carefully crafted questions, I find 80% of the material I use comes from the last question I always ask “is there anything else you’d like to add?”

This video we created for Tyro is a classic example, the silly asides are where the humanity and belief lies.