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The Reel Deal: The Video iPod as a Marketing Tool
Posted Feb 10, 2006 Print Version     Page 1of 1
  

I didn't start paying attention to the iPod until Apple introduced video capability in the fifth-generation model. I didn't have much use for the audio features, being content to play my CDs in my car stereo. However, my kids no longer use their CD players as they each have their own MP3 player. That's pretty much the norm these days; just visit a school parking lot after classes let out and you will see lots of kids wearing the familiar white ear buds. The iPod has had a lot of success with my generation as well, but I still wasn't sold on the audio players. However, when video was added, I decided it was time for me to take a second look.


The video iPod comes in either 30GB ($299) or 60GB ($399) models. The 60GB version holds 15,000 songs, 25,000 photos, and 150 hours of video, plus audiobooks, podcasts, contacts, calendars, games, and clocks, and is still thinner than the original iPod. I figured it was worth the extra $100 to get twice as much storage. The video iPod will connect with either the Mac OS X or Windows 2000/XP and has 20 hours of battery life. The LCD screen on the Video iPod is 2.5 inches, and the video is amazingly clear and crisp.

Because I edit with a PC, and the Apple iPod is Mac-based, I had to download QuickTime Pro for $29 in order to convert my video footage so it could be uploaded into the iPod. The software compresses a large video file into a small video file that still looks great on the Video iPod.

That's all well and good from a consumer perspective, but how can it help my business? Today's couples grew up with computers in their schools and homes and are very tech-savvy. Because I market to high-end brides, I need to stay current with high-end trends, and the Video iPod is certainly one hot item! I now listen to podcasts (one of my favorites is WedVidTalk) as well so the video iPod is not only a marketing tool but an educational tool as well.

The Video iPod is slightly larger and thicker than a credit card, but small enough to fit into a pocket or purse. As I always have my purse with me, I am ready to do an instant wedding demo at a moment's notice! These Video iPods are still new, so if you have one playing, chances are people will gather around to take a look. You'll always hear comments about how good the video quality is. Just think, no more lugging around a DVD player or laptop.

During WEVA's recent Take a Bridal Consultant to Lunch Week, I paid a visit to a bridal consultant that I hope to work with. As we discussed trends in the video business, I pulled out my video iPod and showed her a Prequel, Bridal Preparations, and a Reception highlight from three different couples, and it only took a few clicks on the iPod control wheel. It turns out this bridal consultant had also received a video iPod for Christmas and she commented how clever I was for adding my weddings and said she would do the same, so she could show a potential bride a video of what her wedding could look like. Think about it--this bridal consultant wouldn't be pulling out a photo album and showing photographs to a client, she would be showing video! Can you see giving your favorite bridal consultant a Video iPod loaded with your video of the weddings you've done together? Can you see the marketing potential here?

Even if you do a studio appointment with a potential client and they watch demos on your 61" widescreen HDTV with surround sound and Bose speakers, still pull out your little Video iPod and let them hold it and watch part of a wedding. Tell them that you could put their wedding on their Video iPod. You could even include a Video iPod in your high-end packages. How exciting is that? Once again, a married woman isn't going to lug her photo album around with her at all times, but how easily and quickly could she whip out her Video iPod out of her purse and play her short wedding highlight for her friends and colleagues? What guy wouldn't like the "coolness" factor of pulling out his Video iPod for his buddies and playing a short clip of his wedding? A lot of guys are gadget-freaks and the Video iPod satisfies the craving. These couples are now selling your services every time they show someone their wedding video.

Once again, a married woman isn't going to lug her photo album around with her at all times, but how easily and quickly could she whip her video iPod out of her purse and play her short wedding highlight for her friends and colleagues? What guy wouldn't like the "coolness" factor of pulling out his video iPod for his buddies and playing a short clip of his wedding? A lot of guys gadget-freaks, and the video iPod satisfies the craving. These couples are now selling your services everyt time they show someone their wedding video.

With the new Video iPod now out, what does this mean for my workflow? It means that I have to clear my backlog up faster or else edit together a quick highlight that can be put on the Video iPod until a bride's entire wedding video is edited. You want couples to be able to watch their video and share it with others while they still feel the newness of being married. Your clients are now showing their videos (your demo) to their friends and colleagues, many of whom are planning their own weddings.

I've always felt that in order to sell high-end video, people have to see it. The challenge for all of us has always been finding opportunities to see and be seen. The Video iPod--along with streaming video on the Web--is now making it that much easier.



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