iPad Video Presentation vs. Others

All I wanted to do was watch competitive tablet videos. After watching Apple’s presentation on the iPad 2, I looked for videos by the other tablets, trying to get a sense of their brand personality, messaging and understand why I should buy those tablets vs the iPad 2. Remember, Apple has a “14 million sold” head start on these brands, so I expected their best marketing effort. In no particular order this is what I saw…

Apple iPad 2

Starting with Apple. You can’t miss the product on the site, it’s the latest promotion. Clean and simple presentation, the product is the hero against a white background, no clutter, easy to understand. As is Apple’s style, they balance designer interviews with product shots and user examples. There’s four videos to choose from.
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Motorola Xoom

The Xoom is featured on the homepage and you can get to the video in one click, and the video is actually the commercial they’ve been running. Dark product with a dark background doesn’t show up well until you see the screen. They’re obviously going for the anti-Apple look by presenting the tablet against grey walls.
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HP TouchPad

The TouchPad is easy to find and heavily promoted on Palm.com, but not easily found on the HP site. The video is professionally produced, but there is no narration, demo, or user interaction with the product. It’s a very short high level overview.
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Samsung Galaxy Tab

I’m not sure what to call this. The Galaxy or the Tab? The product is promoted on the homepage, and takes you to a product level page that has 4 columns for text, and three of them come up blank for me. There are 4 videos at the bottom of the page that are mostly user interactions with the tablet.
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Blackberry Playbook

Good name. Easy recall. The tablet is promoted on the website, and here we go again with the dark side presentation. Four different videos are available, ranging from girls jumping rope (an analogy for multi-tasking), to a video that features more product and how-to interact with the tablet.
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Cisco Cius

I don’t remember how I found this product or how to pronounce it, but it’s not being promoted on the homepage. When you do find the product, you’ll get an explanation from Kara Wilson in the video data sheet. However, for the first of it’s kind collaboration tool, I’d probably start by turning the device on.
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Toshiba Libretto

Quite a name. The video is heavy on bass music and light on explanation. There are some interesting things going on dragging images from one screen to another, but I don’t know why I need to do that. The tablet is in constant motion against lots of streaks of light. In the end, I don’t know if this is a laptop or a tablet.
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Viewsonic ViewPad

A simple name I can pronounce and a video worth watching. Multiple user scenarios show how someone would interact with this device. I understand what you can do with the ViewPad, I don’t understand why I’d need one since it seems just slightly larger than my iPhone.
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Asus Eee Slate

It’s called an Eee Slate and there’s and Eee Pad, get it? I’m not making this stuff up. The product looks good on the site, however it looks to be just one page of images and specs with locations at the bottom of the page. There is no video.
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Lenovo IdeaPad

I like the name, however I could not find a video. It looks like a laptop but the screen unhinges to become an IdeaPad. The first picture I saw on the site made me think laptop.

So what did I learn? Many brands assumed everyone knows how to use a tablet, and they didn’t offer a compelling reason to not go with the iPad. This is suddenly a very crowded field, and the herd will thin quickly. One or two of these will get some some traction, but I don’t see Apple looking over their shoulder anytime soon.

KISS, Part 2

How simple is too simple? Must we suffer the unintelligibly abbreviated world of texting? Are we risking a violent takeover of actual words?

Texting has single-handedly reduced us to an acronym for every saying. For teenaged girls that might be just fine, but perhaps that convention is a might too tight for the rest of us. The craft of written communication has a place. Words are there to be wielded. And if done right, they can become…

A brilliant campaign…

A resonant tagline…

A rally cry that brings people together…

Words, used well, can create lasting connections. The only thing texting ends up connecting us with is a destination like this:

http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp

And seriously, if you need this, then maybe you should just use the words you have at your disposal.

OK. BFD. TTYL. Maybe EOD. DYK? MDIAC. JK.