Home Depot and Avot Media partner for mobile how-to videos

Published on: 2015-02-05

As MediaPost notes, this sounds like a good idea:

Avot Media... has started testing a service at Home Depot that allows mobile users to access instructional videos about in-store products by entering an SMS short code for a link.

The initial demonstration videos are for a gizmo that makes it easier to install hard-wired light fixtures and ceiling fans. By June 3, shoppers at more than 100 Home Depot outlets in Florida will be able to use their cell phones to stream or download brief videos showing how to install the Fast Attach device developed by a company called Safety Quick Light.

Shelf displays will let people know about the mobile demo videos.
Avot foresees its AdVideo platform being used not only for in-store promotions, but to power mobile video for other types of text-message campaigns such as for movies or TV shows. "We want to be that video engine," Sloan said.

How the company proceeds will be determined in part by the results of its pilot video program at Home Depot. Avot will track metrics such as how many people clicked to watch the videos, what devices they used, and what time of day and in what stores they tuned in.

Our take:

Whether this works or not will depend on the number of people carrying video-capable mobile phones, and the percentage of those who actually know how to use them.  Avot gets a nod for making the video experience as easy as sending an SMS message, but the promotional signage is going to have to make the video look really compelling, show off how easy it is to watch, and, of course, catch shopper attention in the first place.

How effective will this be compared to an interactive kiosk or digital signage network showing the same kind of content on a much larger screen next to the product displays?  It's hard to say.  Not only is viewership measurement for in-store media networks in the very early stages right now, but media consumption in that form is passive, whereas touching a kiosk screen or sending an SMS requires some (albeit small) active participation on the part of the user.

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