Segway’s revolutionary two-wheeled, self-balancing Personal Transporter (PT) went on sale to the public in November of 2002. The PT received considerable mainstream media buzz prior to the event, with Segway predicted to revolutionize personal transit in the years to follow.
A lot has changed since Segway’s first calls for a new world order in transportation. However, the PT was not the monumental success some had hoped, and the company was ultimately purchased by rival Ninebot in 2015. Advertising has also evolved since the premiere of Segway’s first people mover, with more ad dollars being shifted from television to digital, as well as the meteoric rise of social media influencers and influencer marketing.
Today, Segway-Ninebot’s line of personal vehicles includes different iterations of the hallmark PT, as well as go-karts, scooters, and their new self-balancing Drift W1 e-skates. As the company continues to push the bounds of transportation, Segway marketing has also adopted promotional practices that speak to new demographics and a new era in advertising.
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Justine Ezarik, better known as iJustine to her 5.4 million subscribers, is a lifestyle and tech YouTuber closely followed for her topical product reviews and dry sense of humor. Her iJustine channel has been broadcasting on YouTube since 2006, evolving to include unboxing, side-by-side comparison, do-it-yourself (DIY), travel, and cooking videos. With more than 940 million video views, iJustine’s personality, interests, expertise, and reach made her a fitting partner for the Segway-Ninebot Drift W1 rollout.
With more than 10.5 million subscribers, Casey Neistat is one of the most well-known YouTube personalities in the world. Debuting his channel in 2010, Neistat has generated a whopping 2.4 billion video views. A vlogger and filmmaker regarded for his quality content and candor, Neistat has become a go-to resource for his insights into producing, social media, new products, and other topics. In tapping such a prominent and outspoken creator, Segway-Ninebot was sure to get a frank review distributed to a wide audience.
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Kicking off her video by putting on a skateboard helmet, iJustine immediately sets the tone of her playful review as she hooks the viewer with the promise of seeing “Segway shoes.” After listening to her read some of the product warnings, viewers get a glimpse of the e-skates, as well as the charging and calibration processes. Just before the 4:00 mark, iJustine carefully steps onto the skates, talking viewers through her first moments on the product. As she gets more comfortable, Ezarik heads outside, enlists opinions from friends and neighbors, and eventually brings the e-skates to the street for some slow motion clips and closing thoughts.
At almost 10:00 long, iJustine’s Drift W1 video plays as part unboxing, part product review, and part vlog. Her dry wit and lighthearted tone make the video entertaining throughout, while her learning curve on the skates and interaction with others highlights the freshness and excitement surrounding the product. Ezarik closes her video talking about how much fun she had and directing interested viewers to a link in the description.
Ezarik’s Drift W1 video generated more than 1.4 million views and included a pre-order link for the product.
Neistat’s Drift W1 video was included as part of his “Tech Review Tuesday” series. The e-skates are first previewed with Neistat showing them off on the streets on New York. Neistat then backs up, bringing viewers through his day—jogging, getting coffee, talking about his forthcoming baby and imminent move—before settling in at his workspace. Diving in, Neistat is clear about the nature of the video, saying, “This is a first for Tech Review Tuesday. This is a sponsored (points to “sponsored” graphic in corner of screen) Tech Review Tuesday.”
Like Ezarik, Neistat unboxes the Drift W1’s, goes over some technicals, and tries the e-skates on indoors before venturing outside. Neistat and collaborator, Dan Mace, then cruise through the city, taking to streets, trains, and subway stations as Neistat gives his thoughts on the skates. Offering both praise and critique, Neistat makes the review feel genuine and balanced. Back at his workspace, Neistat ends by thanking Segway and referring to a link to the company in the video’s description.
Neistat’s 6:39 minute video received a whopping 5.2 million views, introducing a considerable audience to the Segway Drift W1 e-skates.