Have you ever had a video thrown at you?

Have you ever had a video thrown at you? It’s an odd question, we admit. Whether live-action or animated, it’s a type of content that’s usually entirely intangible, and, assuming nobody invents WonkaVision (hey, anything’s possible with 3D printers), it’s likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future.

Then again, odd questions have only ever hastened the march of scientific progress. It was strange for Charles Darwin to ask if man evolved from ape in 1859. It was weird for Alexander Fleming to ask if mould – mould – could be used to treat illness. It was downright kooky for the once-popular rapper B.o.B to ask if the Earth is, indeed, round, but when nobody else would challenge thousands of years of geospheric orthodoxy, he stepped up.

“Have you ever had a video thrown at you?” isn’t that peculiar in comparison. To advance our understanding of this most unconventional means of distribution, we asked this question to over 2,822 people in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in October 2015.

We used TLF Research’s YourSayPays panel to collect these responses. We are assured that nobody was harmed in the process of this survey, although we did not ask how good respondents were at dodging videos, so it’s impossible to know for sure.

These guys are ISO 9001 and 27001-accredited, so all data was kept safe and secure – and they took our semi-serious question seriously, so you can be reasonably sure that those surveyed didn’t just click whatever to get their free Amazon voucher (although you can get Amazon vouchers, or Paypal payments, and there are certainly worse ways to make money). Thanks, TLF Research

In the interest of transparency, it’s necessary to mention that this study was not exhaustive, and did not attempt to cover every possible angle. This one question is the only question we asked.

There’s no discussion of impact, velocity, or the size/shape of the projectile in question. We suppose it’s also entirely possible that some people would have taken “video” to mean VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, LaserDisc, or even video mail.

With all caveats accounted for, the findings are still pretty interesting. While we expected the overwhelming majority to answer no, we were surprised to find that some 12% of respondents had, at some point, been the victim of wanton video tossing. To gain further insight, we performed some in-depth demographic analysis. Or…well…Microsoft Excel did. Whatever. We didn’t hand-draw the pie-chart either, SORRY. 

The older age brackets (65+, 55-64, and 45-54) experienced the least in terms of video throwing. Individuals of a more advanced age aren’t as coveted by marketers and they’re less technologically savvy than your average person, so this is unsurprising.

The young people – the 18-24s, the 25-34s, and the 35-44s – all supplied 20% “yes” answers. Again, unsurprising. Millennials and Gen X’ers grew up in an era of smartphones, Snapchats, and 4K TVs, so they encounter video content on a regular basis. 

We’re really not sure what to do with this. Is it sexist? Is it anti-sexist? Maybe? When we talk about distributing “video mail” this is not what we mean. In any case, we don’t really want to encourage people to throw things at women – in a very indirect sense, this was pretty much the opposite of what every wave of feminism was about – so we’re not going to touch this one. Thanks! 

That calm, pastoral Wales has the lowest rate of video chucking is entirely expected. That the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and the South East have the highest is…not. Ireland and Scotland are great, and we’ve been to Hampshire before – it seemed really peaceful. What are these marketers doing? And how?

There is another way. Genre-busting, form-blending, boundary-blurring things like video mail combine the modern sensibilities of most viewers with the old-fashioned appeal of physical media. We can tell you from experience that prospective customers appreciate this kind of content – and what’s more, you don’t need a strong overarm technique to distribute it.

We’re specialists in all sorts of filmed and animated content – including video mail. Contact Jamie Field to find out more!