I’ve been giving a lot of thought to The Flip video camera since I last wrote about it. As soon as my daughter started using hers that we bought her for Christmas, I of course started thinking of ways we could use it in the office. When D.W. Simpson of The University of Toledo commented that her office has two, that sealed it.
Now the Flip site lists 13 national retailers who carry it. I went to our neighborhood Radio Shack to keep my purchases local. They had never heard of it. I asked the owner to look it up, which he did. I ordered three.
I had some credit at our nearby Staples so I dropped by there and asked one of the sales guys for the Flip. He had never heard of it. He looked it up and asked me a bunch of questions about it. I ordered one. I think he did, too.
My daughter went to her Anchorage Best Buy and they hadn’t heard of it.
I went to the Flip site and they seem to have gotten a decent amount of publicity throughout 2007. But the retail chains don’t seem familiar with it. Where’s the disconnect?
This is a classic example of good promotion with no follow-up. It’s also an example of information overload. The Flip was reviewed by Mac Life, as Matthew commented
USA Today and a slew of others reviewed it. . Even Oprah endorsed it. But publicity needs to be constant, even when you have something cool-looking, useful and easy to use.
But the biggest sin is the fact members of three chains had never even heard of it, let alone know they were selling it. This is from a Pure Digital Technologies news release:
To complement its simple and affordable consumer devices, the company partners with leading retailers to distribute its advanced processing technology. The Pure Digital Imaging Platform is installed in over 9,400 one-hour processing locations nationwide, including CVS/pharmacy, RiteAid Pharmacy, Ritz/Wolf Camera Centers, Duane Reade, and Longs Drugs. The Flip Video family of products will be available in over 10,000 retail locations in time for the holidays, including Amazon, Best Buy, CompUSA, Costco, OfficeMax, Sam’s Club, Target, Toys ‘R Us, and Wal-Mart.
There should have been a marketing campaign to educate and motivate the participating retail chains.
Despite this, my feeling is that this pocket-sized camera is going to be the next big thing. My son seems to think it will take another couple years to take off since many folks use their cell phones for videos. We’ll see who’s right.
We’ve become a recording society and the company with the coolest looking, most user friendly device wins. My bet is on the Flip once they get their marketing, education and product placement in order.
I’ve looked at different videos produced with the Flip and, for the most part, I’m impressed with the quality. (The quality varies with the producer, obviously).
Whether they take off or not, I’m with D.W. Every PR office should have a couple and we should be carrying them with us around campus along with our digital still cameras and audio recorders.
Here are some links related links I checked out today.
This one for its enthusiastic endorsement.
This one for the unintended humor
And this one for the information and unintended humor.
And finally, this narcissistic masochist used his Flip to record his teeth being cleaned!
Footnote: I’m glad D.W. commented on my previous post. I checked out her blog and subscribed.