When I decided to sign-up for piano lessons, of course the first thing I did was to start thinking about which keyboard to buy.

I did extensive research online for keyboards: I did Google searches, visited an insane number of web sites, musician forums, read reviews on Amazon and other e-tailers, and even called up several music stores and asked for recommendations.

In almost every avenue of search, I found one name coming up over and over again. And this was the Yamaha Motif Series, with the Yamaha XS in particular being the latest and greatest music workstation from Yamaha, and the vastly improved upgrade to their already successful ES series.

It was a rather close race between the Yamaha Motif XS and the Korg M3. But eventually, the “voice” (musical instrument sound – eg., a Guitar sound or a Saxophone sound) quality of the Motif simply blew me away, compared to the rather tinny, hollow sound of the Korg M3.

But at the end of all that research, there were two YouTube videos that pretty much sealed the deal for me. Both these were created by Bert Smorenburg, the extremely enthusiastic, passionate, lively, funny and brilliant spokesperson from Yamaha.

I eventually ended up spending over $3200 for the 88-Key Yamaha XS-88 Workstation, which arrived a couple of weeks ago by mail (pictures in my subsequent posts).

This just goes to show that with the right combination of a great product, subtle marketing and a brilliant testimonial (even though it is from a paid consultant), you can sell high-ticket items using videos – that too free videos on YouTube.

Here are the two videos which reached into my wallet and pulled out $3200.

Bert Smorenburg demonstrates the new Yamaha MotifXS synthesizer

Bert Smorenburg and the Yamaha MOTIF XS

Gotta love Bert!

- Ravi Jayagopal