A New Format for Tech Reviews

When The Wall Street Journal's tech columnist Joanna Stern learned she'd be getting access to the yet-to-be-released Apple Watch, we had two goals. We wanted to make a review that would stand out creatively and also convey what living with a new type of device actually felt like.

We decided to use a hockey helmet.

We wanted to film the review in first person, and I needed more image control than a GoPro could offer. There weren't any easy off-the-shelf solutions, so I DIY'd an old roller hockey helmet. The rig let viewers see through Joanna's own eyes how the Watch behaved in different scenarios. To convey Joanna's analysis, we recorded an "internal monologue" so that the viewer could hear her thoughts.

The review is one of Joanna's most popular ever, with dozens of commenters applauding the format: "Very informative, better than any standard review [...] More videos should be done this way." They continue to ask her to put on the helmet to this day.