Saturday, 23 November 2013

Six ways to help fight for consumer rights using YouTube

CI's Nina Lanzon examines how the consumer movement is using video to help expose consumer abuses and improve consumer protection. 

How far are you influenced by what you see in an image or video?

With people engaging more with images and videos than any other medium, YouTube and Pinterest are quickly becoming powerful tools that could allow CI Members to communicate with consumers in the digital world.

From cartoon scripts to quirky role play, CI Members are using a range of different techniques to draw our attention to diverse consumer issues and inevitably reinforce the importance of our consumer rights.

Check out our list below to see how CI Member’s are using YouTube to explain consumer issues in more exciting, creative and engaging ways.

1) Which? - May 2013 

Which? present an interesting debate on the ‘future of food’ by using footage from their workshops and interview responses from consumers across the UK. The video highlights some common consumer concerns relating to: the cost of food, food quality, the need to shop locally, knowing what is in our food and how it gets to our stores.

2)   CHOICE Australia - September 2013

Madison Cartwright, Campaigns Co-ordinator at CHOICE uses YouTube as a platform to outline why Australia’s outdated copyright laws are a cause for consumer concern. Set out in a simple ‘question-answer’ format, we can easily engage with the questions asked and the focused follow up answers to learn details of their consumer focused campaign.

3)  Hong Kong Consumer Council - August 2013

This quirky video by the Hong Kong Consumer Council is a great example of how you can use role play in a fun, yet informative way to outline consumer issues and relate it to the ordinary consumer experience. The video acts as a warning for consumers against misleading advertising and false trade descriptions by acting out a transaction exchange between consumer and sales assistant.

4) Altroconsumo - April 2013 (Italian version)

CI’s Italian Member, Altroconsumo uses hidden camera footage in this video to reveal the outcomes of their investigation into banking services offered to Italian consumers. By using this footage, consumers are directly presented with the reality of the consumer issue, without edit or exaggeration. We see it exactly as it is experienced firsthand; in this case banking staff in Milan and Rome offering high bank account costs to ensure their own profitability.

5)    VZBV: Federation of German Consumer Organisations - May 2013 (German version)

VZBV present a clear case for consumer protection in this unique graphic style video. By using cartoon characters to place emphasis on the particularly important points of their message, we remember the exaggerated actions of the cartoon characters to present the consumer story. The script is based on disingenuous customer service, with banking staff selling incorrect assets to consumers for commission.

6)   The Swedish Consumers’ Association – July 2012 (Swedish version)

This ‘how to’ video provides tips and advice on taking steps to protect your online privacy. As well as acting as a warning against how companies use the internet to obtain information about you; the clear, simple presentation style encourages audiences to become conscious and active consumers themselves by following tips to enforce consumer protection in their own digital lives.

Which video message stays in your memory the most? Which video is your favourite?

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