Last Updated: September 8, 2021
MKBHD and Mrwhosetheboss, two of the most prominent YouTube reviewers in the tech world, recently revealed some troubling insights in a YouTube video that went viral. They are pointing out that companies figured out how to get most of the people who review their products. Using manipulations, embargoes, and cutting specific words out of context, they make the whole product image better than it actually is.
As it was pointed out by the YouTubers, these are five main ways in which they are conducting media manipulation:
- Review Giveaways: Companies use reviews to turn a product into a positive experience for customers. Putting the reviewer in a challenging position by ”giving” them products for “review giveaway”, but at the same time, limiting or entirely stopping the honesty of the reviewer. If you think about it, you can’t have a successful giveaway with a lousy product. Hence the reviewer’s opinion is skewed from the honesty of said product.
- ”Coming Soon” Feature: Announcing the feature they are planning on adding, but that feature will not be added now; it will be added in the future. All of them show the demo of the said feature but lock it down, so reviewers must add that on their review, even if that’s not something they can check themselves; all they can do is quote the company words on the said feature. Then, after that feature gets released and people/reviewers check it and see that it’s not such a deal-breaker or polished as the company made it seem, it’s already too late. You can edit the written review, but video reviews will stay, just like people’s first impression for that feature.
- Dual Embargoes: Embargoes are ok, as they are protecting the product from leaking before it’s released, but sometimes companies abuse that system by adding dual embargoes. The purpose of dual embargoes is to market the product when it is announced and, again, when it is released to the public. They are mostly a week apart, and instead of letting the reviewer release one video (or article) about said product, they limit the content of both posts (video or article). The first review is often created to show design or specifications/impressions with the embargo on actually showing the products working. The primary purpose of that first video/article is to put the launch in a positive light. By limiting usage of said products, reviews can only talk about basic things and put the whole product launch in a positive light. At the same time, the second one is purely for marketing purposes.
- Exclusive launch: The primary purpose of exclusive launch or direct interwebs is to manipulate organic impressions to free product promotion. Companies agree to offer exclusive launch to reviewers, but if they can follow up the specific tone or questions during the interview. They are focusing on the positive side of said product, not on the free judgment of the reviewer.
- Quoting out of context: Companies tend to take parts of videos or specific sentences of reviewers to use them as promo material or for marketing purposes. For example, they cut out all the negative aspects, and then make the highlight videos with only the positives, or by putting out-of-context words to promote and attract the reviewer’s audience.
It surely took a lot of courage and risk to publish a video like this, targeting gigantic companies directly, such as Apple or Samsung. Shoutout to these two guys and thank you for telling the truth!
For more information and insight on this topic, here is the video itself.