1 November 2017
I think the Monday YouTube iPhone X videos were a shambles. Not because they were YouTubers, but because Apple didn’t give them sufficient access to create interesting and engaging videos.
Every Apple-sanctioned hands-on posted on Monday was the exact same, incredibly generic, rough overview of Animoji, Face ID and the bigger screen. Each video was shot in the same New York City location and felt incredibly scripted by the invisible hand of Apple PR, with restrictive guidelines on what they could talk about and limited time to handle (and shoot) the product.
With these constraints imposed, it’s no surprise that the videos are homogenous and drab retelling of certain features. I’m sure Apple PR loved it as a way to advertise their iPhone X talking points to a wide base of people for free, but as a collection it didn’t work.
What allows the tech press to create compelling content for Apple products is they have the freedom to take a review unit home with them, in their own unique environments and situations. Apple threw away the creative diversity of YouTube with how they orchestrated the Monday early access previews. I think it’s cool they are reaching out to more YouTube personalities, specifically small to medium size channels, but on this occasion it fell flat. Apple stacked the deck against them, they didn’t have the freedom to make captivating, immersive, videos.
You know who made the best YouTube hands on? Brooke Peterson. Her video had a story, it had a flow, it had a cool setting. The grittiness made it feel like real life, which is ironic given its illegitimacy. With the Apple-sanctioned videos, it was impossible to escape the artificial studio lighting of the demo room.