Which one is more convincing: watching an infomercial for the latest juicer, or watching a guy on YouTube pulverize 12 apples into a tasty beverage?
We all know Jack LaLanne is awesome, but Looqiloo is betting that peer reviews on its user-driven video marketplace will move more product than cheesy infomercials.
“Amazon and eBay allow you to buy products and read reviews. YouTube lets you watch video reviews but not buy. And you can watch videos and buy from QVC, but the videos aren’t created by consumers,” said chief executive officer Bruce Crair in an interview with VentureBeat.
Looqiloo allows anyone to create and upload a product review video and share it with the Looqiloo community. As on YouTube, people can watch the videos; but should anyone have the urge to buy, he or she can do so right from the video page.
The company splits revenue from a sale between the product distributor, itself, and you, the video creator. Crair pointed out a Nielsen report showing people’s trust in television advertising had dropped 24 percent. People just don’t believe that buying Old Spice will give them a baritone voice and a perfect happy trail.
On the other hand, if a friend or peer suddenly smelled like the man your man could smell like, you’d be waiting in line at Walgreens right now.
The company sees its target market as all those who upload product reviews to YouTube. Crair explained that a search for “iPhone 4S review” turns up around 62,500 results. There are definitely fanboys and girls who love to walk you through every step of their beloved new gadget, but it’s a stretch to say all of those reviews are positive and aimed at selling the product. That said, Crair wants to create a community and even welcomes the negative videos.
ExpoTV.com allows you to upload similar videos and get rewards, but Looqiloo doesn’t see that site as a big competitor. Instead, it wants to compete directly with Amazon and other big retailers.
The startup made a presentation at DEMO in Santa Clara, Calif., today. Venture capitalists on a judge panel noted, “Affiliates already don’t get paid a lot, and now you’re taking a piece of that piece. It’s hard to make it work unless you have an immense amount of volume.”
Another VC said, “I liked a lot of it… There’s a bunch of cleverness here, but where is the money?”
Looqiloo was founded in 2011 and has so far been bootstraped by its founders, Crair, Wendell Brown, and Mark Klein. The company is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and has five employees.
Looqiloo is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2012 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After we make our selections, the chosen companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.
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