5 of the most successful product demonstrations in history

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Product demonstrations are essential. Companies showcasing their prototypes and models to their audience can generate buzz, enhance branding, and increase sales.

Of course, some brands do this better than others. Their leaders and creatives find a way to engage audiences and compel them to buy their products. 

But which were the most successful? That’s the question answered in this post. It explores the product demonstrations that defined generations and made brands world famous. 

Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” Campaign

Until Blendtec, only a select few people cared about the commercial blender market. The occasional restaurant owner might dabble in it but other than that, it was a quiet space. 

That changed when Blendtec began making “Will it blend?” YouTube videos in 2006 and 2007. These featured company representatives showing their blenders’ power by blending solid objects, like iPhones and Apple Watches. 

For viewers at the time, the content was shocking and intriguing. How was it that a blender company could make a blender so powerful it could turn electronic products into dust? 

Naturally, social media users shared Blendtec’s videos and the phenomenon went worldwide. The company experienced overnight success and dominated the industry for a decade. Every fancy restaurant wanted its products to make smoothies, sauces, and cocktails. 

Purple Mattress’s Egg Test

Mattress companies need to prove their products are comfortable, supportive and gentle. But getting that message across on camera is challenging. 

Consequently, during the early 2000s, numerous firms like Tempur-Pedic, began creating demonstration commercials. These revealed their mattresses’ ability to resist disruption. 

For example, one advert saw participants place a glass of wine on a mattress and try to disrupt it by walking beside it, jumping up and down, or dropping bowling balls next to it. The purpose was to show the incredible capacity of the mattress’s absorbent material to resist disruption by impacts. 

Mattress company Purple took this concept further by showing its mattress could cradle raw eggs under 1,400 pounds of raw pressure. The test revealed the incredible over-engineering going into its products, establishing its reputation for quality and innovation. 

The Pepsi Challenge

Pepsico initiated one of the most successful product demonstrations in history with its “Pepsi Challenge.” The idea was simple: provide random people with unidentified glasses of its product and its main rival – Coca-Cola – to see which people preferred. 

The experiment, as you might expect, favoured Pepsi. Most people liked its sweeter taste, choosing it the majority of the time. 

This marketing was effective because it was a raw street test. It stripped away the usual corporate glitz and glamour and simply asked people which drink they preferred. The fact most chose Pepsi when blind was insightful and intriguing. (After all, isn’t Pepsi the cheaper brand?)

The second reason it was so successful was its innovative product demonstration. Few companies dare to pit their products or services against the leading competitor in unscripted events. Therefore, Pepsi showed its immense confidence and trust in its drinks. 

Volvo’s Epic Split Live Test With Jean-Claude Van Damme

Volvo is another company that is proficient in expert product demonstrations. Ten years ago, it hired martial artist and actor Jean-Claude Van Damme to demonstrate the stability of its lorries’ Dynamic Steering technology. 

The 76-second advert features the star standing on the wing mirrors of two Volvo trucks reversing at speed. As the advert continues, the camera zooms out, showing Van Damme astride the vehicles. As the lorries move apart, Van Damme performs the full splits. 

The advert is shocking because of Van Damme’s personal stunt performance. However, it is also reassuring for business customers. The lorries’ reversing stability is immensely impressive, giving them the confidence the vehicles can protect their goods in transit. 

SodaStream’s 3D Waste Demos

Finally, SodaStream saw massive success after working with a product demonstration agency to show how much customers can reduce plastic waste by using its products. The brand set up trailers across various Western cities showing how many bottles and cans families could avoid throwing in the bin (or recycling) using its reusable soda bottles instead.

SodaStream’s impact was tremendous because of the sheer size of the waste pile. Over five years, the average family could avoid throwing out 10,657 bottles and cans, enough to fill a small bus. 

So there you have it: five of history’s most successful product demonstrations. Which do you want to emulate the most? 

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