views: 804

As 3G and 4G transform our online browsing capabilities and conventional advertising loses its hold on us, we feel India is ready for the next big wave – video reviews by real consumers, like you and me.

After all, if you had to choose a new laundry detergent for your family, would you believe a celebrity claiming its benefits on TV or your next-door neighbour?

When you are looking to buy a new mobile phone, are you more likely to ask your best friend or the manufacturer?

All our purchasing decisions are often based on word-of-mouth and casual conversations. But as we get lost in our hectic lives, the faceless Internet is where we turn to.

At Real Reviews, we wish to simulate a human experience by asking ordinary people to tell us, on camera, why they like/disliked a product and how they feel it could be made better. We then show these videos to manufacturing companies so that they can make better products for you and me.

All you will find here are honest user reviews across product categories – makeup & beauty, gadgets & technology, food, domestic items, office supplies etc.

We feel videos are a more intimate form of communication than say, a blog post. Very often, all the information available on products online is disseminated (either openly or using aliases) by the companies that made them. To what extent can you really trust product shots on the company’s website? Wouldn’t you rather see the product in the hands of a real consumer as he translates bland specifications in practical terms?

At the same time, video reviews don’t just relate a subjective experience. By checking out multiple reviews by different people of the same product, Real Reviews allows you to take an objective decision about whether a product is right for you.

Also, by wielding the power of a visual medium, we hope to change the mindsets of companies who forget consumers are human beings, not market segments. By relating your experiences on camera and inspiring other consumers to do the same, you will be sending out a message to large multinational companies and the people who run them: ‘Hello, this is us and here is what we think of your products. Can we see you too?’

It could be the start of something wonderful.

We are a small group of Mumbai-based journalists, advertising professionals and marketing consultants who consider ourselves part of the problem. Which is why we now want to be part of the solution. Read more about each of us here.



If we could earn a rupee for every time we are asked about the ‘revenue model’ of Real Reviews, we wouldn’t need one at all!

As Real Reviews has started to grow, several companies and individuals have approached us to ask why we are doing all this for no apparent monetary reason.

To be clear, Real Reviews is not meant to be a source of income for us. We are all involved in various activities that range from shooting corporate films, developing websites, creating content and helping companies build their brands.

As more consumers take to the digital space to get information on products through online reviews and ratings, it’s only natural that companies have started to dedicate a major chunk of their ad spend to influencing opinions online. According to a survey by industry analysts Gartner, 10 to 15 percent of all online reviews will be paid for by 2014.

This phenomenon is already so rampant in the United States that the Federal Trade Commission has sued and forced several retailers to pay fines for fraudulent reviews.

We at Real Reviews expect this obnoxious trend to catch up in India and want to offer a free, unbiased platform that consumers can trust and companies can use to connect with genuine consumers for true market insights.

Of course, as the scope of Real Reviews expands, we will have to generate revenue to survive in the long run. However, our loyalties lie with the consumers who make this website what it is. Therefore, all reviews where we feature company-sponsored products will be explicitly stated as being so although the reviews themselves – conducted by people we handpick, not companies – will be unbiased and real.

Besides getting access to honest user reviews that will help you make informed and trustworthy choices, featuring in a Real Reviews video can help you:

→ Help companies make better products for you. Your valuable inputs can change the face of existing products and pave the way for new ones that are most suited to your needs.

→ Brag/warn. You can tell your friends, family and colleagues about your cool new iPad, how to best use that new eyeliner, why they should think twice before picking up a certain brand of organic rice or why the new and improved version of something is neither new, nor improved.

→ Promote and explore yourself. Are you part of an animal rescue foundation? Review a pet-related product and tell others a bit about your cause. Are you a closet singer? Lose your inhibitions and give us your review in song. Of course, your concerns and talent should not eclipse the content of the review. And this is not a space to pursue commercial interests. But apart from that, we hope to build a community where well-meaning intentions find a well-meaning audience.*

(*Real Reviews reserves the right to refuse service to people/interests that run contrary to the primary objectives of the website. For more information, read our Terms and Conditions)