How blog advertorial hurts brands and blogs.
Don’t you hate when you sit down to catch up with a personal blog you love, and suddenly, there’s a corporate-supplied graphic or video in your face, and the usually intelligent, unique, thoughtful prose voice of the blogger has been taken over by a gushing lead-in that would be slightly over the top for a late night infomercial?
Don’t you hate when a bunch of the personal blogs you love are doing it all at the same time, with the same corporate-supplied graphic and video in your face repeatedly as you scroll through your RSS reader?
I do. I really hate that. It makes me cringe for the blogger, who is painfully contorting herself trying to make it work somehow. It makes me resentful of the brand or product for degrading quality content by insisting on getting in front of it, instead of more discreetly standing behind it. It’s like a producer replacing the real talent to put his mistress in the lead. The whole production is cheapened.
What I’m saying is, the advertorial model is not working for me, as a consumer. I can’t imagine it working for anyone in the long run. It’s killing the host. Blogging didn’t become a phenomenon because it offered more of what traditional media had already done to death.
I’m not against advertising, sponsorships, making money or any other material reward that can and should come from delighting an audience. I just think there has to be a better way than brand-directed/scripted content. As a matter of fact, I know it, because occasionally, I see sponsorships that do let the content shine. (Hallmark’s Life is a Special Occasion series comes to mind).
I love this medium. I want to see it grow, and grow with it. I want its creators to make a good living and have fun doing it. I’m interested in us working with brands in a way that will support what we’ve built, not undermine it. Am I crazy to think there’s a way for everybody–bloggers, brands, and readers–to win?
What do you think?