Look around YouTube at car reviews, and you’ll see a lot of people standing in front of cars. Below I’ve snapped captures of early frames in six car reviews. These represent the first time the car is shown whole, in profile.
Who’s on review here? The car reviewer or the car? Get out of the way people!
Take it from Doug DeMuro. His reviews always start with him standing behind the car. The car is in full view, in all its glory, at center stage. Doug comes second — he understands what the viewer is there for.
Doug in the background. Car in the foreground. Doug gets it.
A couple years ago I purchased a new car. A few days later I got an email from Audi asking me to rate my experience. I clicked the link to the survey and ended up seeing this:
Ok, this should be easy.
“Ease of looking at dealer’s inventory” — great, no problems there. A 10, right? Well… was it OUTSTANDING? How about TRULY EXCEPTIONAL? No, it wasn’t those… I can’t say someone’s inventory was truly exceptional. I can’t put my name on that sort of endorsement. So…?
Comfort in the office where we cut the deal? It was fine — I couldn’t imagine it to be better, but was it TRULY EXCEPTIONAL? No. That doesn’t fit. So does that make it a 6 or 7? No, it was better than that… But… So…?
I see this sort of thing in surveys all the time. A simple 1–10 scale (or 1–5, it doesn’t matter), but the labeling of the numbers is so sensationalized that it turns me off. As far as the number goes, I’m happy to give something the highest rating, but the language overshoots the number and then I don’t know how to respond.
I find these sorts of things great reminders of how important it is to choose the right words. Don’t overshoot, don’t sensationalize. Be modest with language. Find the right fit and leave it alone.