Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


Video killed the marketing star: Testimonial Advertising

Though I've been part of the Netflix community for years, I still occasionally go into a traditional video and DVD rental store just for the retro experience, and last night I popped into the brand new Hollywood Video here in Colorado, just to check it out.

Walking around, looking at all the boxes of the new DVD releases, it struck me rather forcibly that the marketing types at movie studios have made reviewer testimonials so omnipresent that they no longer help sell movies. I was looking at some movies that I thought were just awful, truly appalling films, and they sported upbeat, enthusiastic, "best film of the year" testimonials just like the superb films next to them.

If critics can be quoted as saying a terrible film like Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events are truly brilliant movies, can we trust critics at all any more?

Of course, then there's Sony Studios, whose marketing team pushed just a tiny bit further than everyone else by actually inventing its own critics and...