I’ve been following Kai Wong from DigitalRev TV for awhile now. He’s a little Asian dude with a British accent hosting one of the most subscribed to photography shows on YouTube.
Out of all the hundreds of videos Kai has ever done, this one packs the most persuasive punch, especially starting around 3:40 and after:
Notice how he begins the video by educating you of the history of this magnificent camera. Notice the piano music in the background. Notice the artistry which sets the tone of the video for “this is truly something special.” Notice how he takes ordinary concepts like a viewfinder and transforms it into something magical. Phrases like: “…your window into other people’s worlds.” “his Leica… was an extension of his eye.” Notice how he keeps comparing it to the “big black bulky DSLR’s” which in the mind of the prospect would be the #1 objection to spending $6,000 to $8,000 on this difficult-to-use camera. He then tackles that objection too, saying the lack of automation in the camera is precisely why he loves it.
“We live in a world of convenience. We live in the iPod age. But yet there’s something so stimulating about creating the music yourself with your hands.” Then it cuts away to hands playing the piano we’ve been listening to this whole time. This isn’t just a camera that lacks automatic controls, no, it’s your partner in creating a piece of art by hand. This is some masterful reframing if I ever saw it. See the video; it’s education in persuasion is worth every minute!
As far as marketing personalities go, I think he beats Frank Kern for many of his pieces, since Frank seems to model Adam Carolla a lot for jokes (even taking a few directly such as “Jenius with a J” without attribution) whereas Kai seems to actually be the goofy dude he is in video (unless he’s modeling some sort of HK radio personality himself I don’t know about, wouldn’t that be ironic, ha!)
As it stands now, Kai is more of a “store celebrity” (that keeps you glued to a store once you enter) and a minor YouTube celebrity that generates subscriptions and store traffic… (until he grows in viewership to compete the many other general cam celebs like Olivia Tech, Philip Bloom, etc.)
Whereas Frank is more of “niche” celebrity or “field” celebrity. In his case, the Internet Marketing niche or IM “fields”, he is probably #1 in many people’s eyes. There’s really no other charming “cult of personality” marketers who make media.
Much like Stephen Hawking is also a niche or field celebrity. He rules science like Frank Kern rules IM.
They’re both near the tops of those cults of personality.
Kai would be like the strangely funny Vince Offer, if only he actually did a video for each product instead of merely edutainment for the store.
Vince is more of a “product celebrity” than Kai from what I’ve seen. You know exactly what product to buy after you see a Vince presentation. He shows you 1 or 2 products doing tens or even hundreds of amazing things.
Many people get a very SPECIFIC urge to buy something after a Vince presentation, whereas Kai gains affinity and moves you a little closer to whatever he’s doing in a more generalized way.
Therefore Kai is more of a “store celebrity” or even more generally “YouTube celebrity”, as you don’t immediately know from his YouTube presence that he’s schilling product. Vince you KNOW he’s schilling product.
Except in situations like the video above, as a viewer of Kai, I still wouldn’t know how each actual product would work (and thus which one to buy.) To get me to make a buying decision, the video has to focus on a specific product from a specific brand.
That’s perhaps a weakness to this approach. He brings people to the store, and sometimes he educates them generally about things like 50mm lenses, but once you’re at the online store you still gotta ultimately figure out what you want from pitiful product descriptions and even more horrible pictures of the gear that, ironically, takes pictures.
No doubt if you dragged your ass all the way to Hong Kong, he may actually be there in the physical store occasionally to be just as entertaining telling you about specific product, as he is online charming you about general photography topics. It’d be nice to see something like he probably does in-store, in Hong Kong that translated online so the world can see.
I think the Kai approach increases the size of the “pie” a little bit (again, with his very general, but not necessarily product specific tutorials on things like 50mm lenses), but when he’s not teaching he mostly uses humor and personality to keep the pie size the same, simply diverting customers from other stores who already have an interest in the products.
The Vince Offer approach increases the size of the pie as he educates you from 0 about a new product you probably never would’ve thought about before.
The only minus to Vince is that he seems Nefarious. His very head telegraphs that he’s up to something bad, and it’s may be bad for you, too. It’s is a little bit strange that someone who looks like a villain from a Disney movie has chosen to take the seemingly elevatory, value adding “create something from nothing” approach Vince has.
Adweek even calls Vince a “Pariah”:
Vince’s latest video has been removed from Adweek for copyright violation. You can see an edited version, in small form, at:
… where he talks about women’s pussies, schticking this and that, appearing behind bars, and all kinds of other wacky shit. My recommendation is to find the most uncut version of this commercial on YouTube and the like, because the full 2 minute plus piece is startling.
No doubt someone who appeared to be more innocent and kind would perform even better in Vincent’s position.
It’s likely Kai could take a Vince like position and do well, or even appear in simple edutaining videos for each MAJOR product offering (there’s too many minor products to do on the site) for the store he works for in Hong Kong.