Media Production

The Red HD Camera: Branding and Exclusivity at the NAB

When it comes to marketing your product or organization, sometimes keeping it away from people is what creates more demand. At the National Association of Broadcasters Conference in Las Vegas this week, there are plenty of the usual huge product booths and displays. Some of the biggest are Avid and Apple’s Final Cut Pro, and they are laid out with many entrances, few walls, and plenty of space. Thousands of people can move in and out of the space with ease. But the people who are marketing the new HD camera called “Red” decided on a radically different approach.
They created a big red tent that was completely closed except for a single small entrance. The space was relatively tiny, and to get in, you had to go through the small, single opening. As a result, it created a line that sometimes wrapped around the tent twice.

Far fewer people went through the Red display than Avid or Final Cut, but guess what the talk of NAB was? That tent.

Throughout the design and development process of the Red camera, information was leaked out slowly or not at all. It created huge speculation and interest, and developed a significant buzz on the Internet. Now, at the unveiling at the biggest broadcasting convention on the planet, they’ve still kept the sense of exclusivity going. Sometimes, it’s not a matter of making your product or organization more available. Sometimes, making it exclusive is the answer. That’s why velvet rope clubs in Hollywood are the rage. If you can’t get in, more and more people want it.

Think of how your product or organization might be helped by being more exclusive. It does a number of positive things:

1. It makes the product or organization more special.
2. It makes it seem more elite and unattainable.
3. It makes the people who can access it, feel like they’re part of a special club.
4. It creates buzz and speculation. Sometimes entire fan sites are developed as small bits of information are carefully leaked out.
5. A higher price for something exclusive makes sense.

Remember, in a media-driven culture, how a product or organization is perceived, can be even more important than reality.

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  1. I guess others have had this same idea: Documentary about the making of Red….? I remember some information several months ago regarding a documentary team/crew that was involved with capturing the process of the development of Red for the last several months. I was wondering and following up on that to see if anything came from that– I'm sure most Redusers would more than love to see/hear about the process, and also am aware that something like that probably won't be available until the camera is released. I thought that was a great idea. Thanks in advance!

  2. In a media driven, in-your-face culture, where plenty of people are trying to be seen at the forefront it does make some kind of ironic sense to perhaps pull back a bit and be more decisive. If “everyone is doing it” what makes what you do stand out among the crowd? Is it being just like everyone else? Mmm… This article gives us something to think about.

    Allen Paul Weaver III
    Author, Transition: Breaking Through the Barriers

  3. Interesting observation. I was one of the people who waited in line for this booth. There was definitely a sense of "I should see this if I came all the way out to this convention."

    I was impressed by the demo film they showed, but there was certainly an expectation and a feeling that I SHOULD be impressed. Plus, the demo was filmed by Peter Jackson.

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