You guys have seen these brand enthusiast campaigns that pop around the blogosphere every now and then, right? The three that come to mind are Gap, Nintendo, and Dove.
I don't have a problem with the campaigns at all. In fact, I think they are inspired. I get so many PR pitches in my inbox and almost without fail, they are poorly executed--nothing to do with me or my blog, clearly not coming from someone who is familiar with me or my blog, wanting quite a bit in exchange for nothing or very little. (See this brilliant post for a sample of the type of pitch I tend to receive. I'm sure most of you have received similar correspondence.)
I would have no problem doing compensated reviews, provided I were allowed to be honest. I've never been approached by anyone with a PR pitch that actually intrigued me, which is the reason I haven't done anything like this yet. However, if I were to be selected for a BlogHer review campaign, or to become a brand enthusiast for a company I was interested in, I would totally go for it.
I thought the Nintendo and Gap campaigns were smart. They picked a variety of bloggers with different perspectives and audiences. They hosted great parties for those bloggers, with great giveaways for all the guests. And then they had the bloggers post giveaway contests for nice things. I believe in Nintendo's case it was a Wii or a Wii Fit, and with the Gap it was a free pair of jeans or a $50 gift certificate.
But the brand enthusiast campaign I've seen most recently is for Dove. Specifically, a new type of Dove deodorant. I've seen at least three or four posts from some of my regular bloggers who have hosted Dove parties and are now doing Dove giveaways on their blogs. And again, I think that's awesome. Congrats to them for getting selected to participate, and getting to host what looks like a fun party.
But what I don't understand about the Dove campaign is the giveaway. From what I can tell, the item up for winning in each of these contests is a sample of Dove's new deodorant. That appears to be all.
Maybe I've been skimming? Or didn't read the rules correctly? But I feel like I have a certain threshold when it comes to a) the types of reviews or giveaways I'd be willing to post on my blog, and b) the types of contests and giveaways I'd bother entering on other people's blogs. And a contest for a sample of a deodorant that probably costs $4 even in its full-size form? Well, that's below my own personal threshold. I think it would make a lot more sense for Dove to give away a whole basket of fun pampering body products from their current line, with the new deodorant they're trying to promote placed front and center. That is the type of contest that I would take the time to enter, and that would motivate me to give my contact information to a corporation. A deodorant sample? Not so much.
But again, maybe I don't know the whole story. So I'd love to hear from you guys. Have you ever participated in a compensated review, giveaway, brand enthusiast, etc. program? How did you make the decision? I would especially love to hear from people participating in the current Dove campaign... is there more to it than what I'm seeing? How did you decide to take part?
And if you've never participated in a campaign like this, would you consider doing it? What do you think when you see compensated reviews and giveaways on other people's blogs?
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