Friday, September 30, 2011, 11:03 AM ET|Posted by Will RichmondWhile the drama surrounding industry events like Netflix's price increase or Hulu's potential acquisition grab the big headlines related to online video's disruptive impact, a less visible, but still very meaningful benefit of online video is the ability for any organization to explain complex ideas by producing their own videos for target audiences. One great example of this approach hit my radar this week: a 6-minute video that Amazon released discussing the new Amazon Silk browser that runs on the new Kindle Fire tablet.
With the Fire tablet, Amazon faces the Herculean task of competing with the iPad, which has proven resilient in the face of numerous other contenders. Mindful of this steep challenge, Amazon priced the Fire aggressively at $199, and with the Silk browser, is also looking to assert real technological advantages vs. the iPad. Since most people give little thought to what browser they use, much less what its particular advantages might be, Amazon's challenge was not only to make the browser relevant to users, but also to explain why Silk is different and better, at least for mobile experiences. The resulting video does both elegantly.
As seen below, the video begins with a clear explanation of how current browsers were developed for computers, not mobile devices. This leads to performance problems loading web content that all of as users will clearly relate to. Then the video segues to discussing the new technical approach Silk uses (a "split" architecture that uses server-side pre-processing of web pages on Amazon's computing cloud), with a strong emphasis on how this benefits users (faster delivery of web content). The featured speakers are all Amazon engineers who are come across as genuine, knowledgeable and passionate about the product. They are aided by complimentary animated graphics that illustrate their points.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is obviously proud of the video as he references and links to it in his letter introducing the Fire to customers on Amazon's home page. To be sure, the video is really best for those who have more than a passing interest in what makes the Fire different. But that's exactly what Amazon's mission must be with the Fire - proving that it's different from the iPad to lure first-time buyers. The video takes a very difficult subject and translates in a meaningful way for viewers. It's a strong model for others to follow.