Gents-- Its been suggested that I try to find a "sponsor" (or sponsors?) for my shaving videos so I have access to more products. What do you think? I have my own opinion about this but I'm going to keep it to myself so I don't bias other comments. Polling will be active for 30 days.
As long as possible sponsors do not interfere with the message you are trying to deliver with your videos (an unbiased, clear, to the point, easy to understand and no frills opinion and explanation), I would say go for it.
If any doubts exist, you can either share them with us so we can give you our unbiased opinion, or simply don't use them. Better safe than sorry!
I voted no, BUT, to me it really is not a simple "yes" or "no" question.
If you are trying to illustrate "The Principles" of Wet Shaving, then what difference does it make if you use Proraso or Trumper"s? What difference does it make to use a Feather or Personna? Gillette is not making anymore DE's. Do you really handle a Merkur that much different from a Gillette?
IMHO, (of course, I'm a newbie, so what do I know . . .) there are just a few variables here. A DE vs. injector vs. straight; cream vs. soap, boar vs. badger. Everything else seems pretty consistent when it comes to the basic principles of wet shaving.
If it is something as simple as saying, "Today we are using creams provided by XYZ", then OK, no big deal. But, often when you get into using sponsors, then you have to cater to what they want sold and they will want their name out front and some may want an exclusive. For example, you may not have an opinion or a negative opinion about pre-shave oils. If you get a sponsor that wants to market that, then your creative boundries are being defined for you (Think Consumer Reports). Of course, I may be getting carried away here as well . . .
This is such an individual endeavor when you get into specific products. Now, if you wanted to do product reviews on video, now you are into a different animal all together.
Mark, I think you are right on track, as is. In my view, the only criticism I see comes in the form of polishing up some production issues, perhaps being more time conscious, not necessarily content or your basic premise. Just my humble opinion . . .
I don't see why you shouldn't accept a sponsor. Just mention that they're a sponsor in passing as you cover a topic in your how-to videos and move on to the demonstration. There's no reason for you to bear all the expense involved. And we aren't talking about a lot of money to the suppliers/makers, either. I mean, even the Sue's can afford a puck of soap if they want the mention. It's no big deal to them and shouldn't be to you either. Just limit yourself to quality products that you respect and believe in personally and all will be fine. IMO.
Be up front that "they" are sponsoring a product and go for it. If your sponsor understands that you will give the review that you believe rather than the one they want and they are still willing to deal, I see no problem with it.
Whether you do or don't, the overall impression of products by the majority of members on this site is what sways me to my next purchase- not advertising by sponsors or weak attempts at spam to "try the greatest ________" by some lurker who never returns.
Having a sponsor would solve money constrictions but this could be a two edge sword. As long as they, the sponsor, do not get the attitude " It's my money I will say how it is spent" then it could a real help in future installments.If you could not trust them on this point then I would say no. I do trust in your judgment in this matter and know you will make the right choice for the future of these fine videos.
I am sure that your objectivity would not be influenced by a sponsor. The integrity of Consumer Reports comes to mind immediately; I may not agree with what they have to say, but the difference will be a subjective one, rather than a perception of possible bias.
I would suggest saying thanks but no thanks to the sponsor. If there is an economic need to generate some revenue to help you out with your expenses, I am sure that people will help with a donation to defray your costs. Alot of us appreciate what you do. Keep up the great work.
I believe that your videos are fantastic. Having said that what would be the benefits of sponsoship if not to promote their products. I believe that we are all very aware of what works for each of us individually. So plugging a product is not going to sway me one way or another. Are the sponsors expect the "this is the best product ou there" line from you? If you are ok with promoting their products then go ahead by all means. We are not the ones spending money to make the videos but I would think there is an expense associated with the making of the videos. So if this is going to help you financially then the answer is yes. Regardless of what you decide we stand behind you, we enjoy your videos and hope to see more of them.
It's easy leave the reviews and product shots out of the mix if you want to remain objective. But there is nothing wrong with having a sponsored by: yada at the beginning or end of the presentation. This approach would work for products and vendors. I used to be in the creative industry and it always amazed me how no one ever wanted to compensate anyone for doing anything that involved creativity and public awareness. Make it worth your while!
One of the things I enjoy about the kind of videos you do is that they are not brand specific. You mention several products in the videos and leave it to the shaver to shop around and decide for himself.
It's like picking up the Art of Shaving book or watching one of their videos. Of course they are going to give you the run down with specific instructions on using only their products. While there's good info there, not everyone likes another infomercial.
Just my .02
However... $$ and/or free stuff can always change my opinion