Video-led marketing and the demand for honesty

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of video interviews (preferably one-take, impromptu point-and-shoot affairs) as a marketing tool. Now I see 37signals, one of the heroes of web 2.0, are getting in on the act.

Why did we decide to do these videos? Benefits over features. Tours and screenshots do a great job of explaining what Basecamp does but we wanted to do a better job of showing how it makes people’s lives better. Video turned out to be a great way to do that. There’s nothing like seeing real people talking about how easy Basecamp is to use and how valuable it is to their businesses. These people talk about how they love Basecamp and we’re proud of that.

I’m a bit surprised to see them opt for professional production, though. It makes things look too slick, too well-prepared, too post-produced. In a world sick of spin, you inevitably wonder if they’re just showing the positive bits. Real-time, raw, unedited video requires either great acting talent, or honesty. And honesty is in high demand these days.