We’re seeing a rise in the number of requests for video references. In the past couple of the months we’ve completed work as far afield as Switzerland and Nigeria. Clients are asking for video, their customers are up for it.

With the odd exception. One client mailed us to suggest his customer was ‘too ugly’ for video. That wasn’t the client’s opinion, it was the customer’s. Our client assured him that “all IT people ugly, so don’t worry about”. Surprisingly, that didn’t work. We’re going with a written case study.

Now, we don’t advocate vetting every reference for beauty, but we’d certainly want to check the customer felt comfortable with video. We can provide coaching, script advice and great lighting but if the subject is uncomfortable it is unlikely we’ll get a relaxed, confident interview. But there are no guarantees great looking people make great video interviews. We’d always suggest a pre-briefing call prior to greenlighting a video.

Less conventionally beautiful interviewees (is that phrasing sensitive enough?) might be great public speakers with an inspiring story to tell. It would be folly to ignore this. Customer stories work best when they are authentic. Movie star good looks, while easy on the eye, do not necessarily add to the authenticity.

Tip: watch Chris Abani’s TED Talk