Let them entertain: Vloggers and Disclosure

The top 12 Youtube Vlogger are entertainers;


They are like Demetri Martin, they entertain for a profession and when a brand wants to align with them it can sometimes look really good.
Such as the Martin + Microsoft = 'Clearficiation' series


They are like Hilltop Hoods, who are entertainers who have commercial deals with brands, in particular DC (they have to wear DC at every show). However, you do not hear them mention this during one of their shows.


They are peformers...They put on a show...They act.

John Laws does not act, he is seen as news source an information source.

They are definitely not like Rene Rivkin, Rene gave financial advice that people trusted. When he had a vested interest people's money was at risk.


At the end of the day in my opinion;

-Vloggers need to disclose any commercial deals. I think that it should be on their profile homepage, I don’t think it needs to be on the video.



-The best Vloggers will put their community first. If there is no fit they will not engage in commercial terms, no matter how much financial or other value they stand to gain

Mark Pollard asked me a good question yesterday;

Show me an example of a good whisper campaign?

I think you could extend this to show me an example of a good campaign using Youtube stars which is either whisper or full disclosure?


UPDATE: 12:20PM 25/02/09
I ask and they answer

Examples of Good Branded Campaigns;
I beat you and KevJumba

Fred and Zipit

Blog TV and number of famous Vloggers

Thanks Nat for the examples, if anyone has any more please share.

30 comments:

Daniel Oyston said...

I think that the point of disclosure almost needs to come from the other direction. If you are Vlogger then "why not' disclose the sponsorship?

If it really is a fit and worth your audience knowing then why hide it? You should be proud to be associated with a brand.

But deep down they might know it isn't really ok and that is why they don't disclose it.

Jye Smith said...

What about endorsements? Surely the brands realise that the people they endorse align with their values: perhaps this is the line that brands should take with vloggers?

I'd call the hilltop hoods an endorsement (mainly for the lack of announcement on stage etc) just like ESP use to endorse Metallica, or Ibanez to Steve Vai.

On the other hand, Korn just wore ADIDAS cause they loved it and have always said there is no arrangement there, and they proved that when they started their own clothing brand.

I think people are allowed to love brands too. So maybe if Ibanez offered me guitars and money, then sure, I'd offer some juicy blog spots ;)

Kimota said...

Disclosure is essential if we don't want a two-tiered system where journos or media personalities need to disclose but bloggers, vloggers and others who essentially provide the same service, don't.

Without a consistent approach across all media, we'd end up with Lawsy or Jonesy becoming vloggers as a convenient loophole around their financial arrangements

natalie tran said...

While the Tourism Queensland campaign didn't go down so well, a vlogger named "HappySlip" just took the Grand Bronze Anvil Award and the Anvil Award of Excellence for her campaign for tourism in the Philippines.

Blendtec is quite obviously a campaign but wow, it's a great one.

Blogtv had a fantastic and successful campaign.


I think ibeatyou's campaign was done well.
http://bit.ly/SIwlv

T-Mobile, Sony and Starburst had nice little campaigns.

The most subscribed vlogger on the site, "Fred", is sponsored by zipit and also attempts several campaigns for other brands as well.

Despite the smh article (Julian's blog :) ) about the Lie to Me Campaign, how was that unsuccessful? It accumulated millions of views in total including responses and most people on youtube are fully aware that it's a campaign. The handing out of FOX tshirts was quite obvious.

I think it's easy to sit back and say, "full disclosure is necessary" if you take vloggers to be individuals vlogging nothing but their own personal beliefs, feelings and ideas. This is after all what hooked people onto Lonelygirl15. Unfortunately, it's not that simple and I would say it's rare to find anyone on the front page of youtube who doesn't have an agent.

As a wise Julian Cole once told me, "I think it's important to give back to the community" and I think as long as this requirement is being fulfilled, the rest is up to the vlogger.

Julian Cole said...

@Nat, I have to agree with you on the Lie to Me, I thought it was a good example and it linked in with most vloggers content. It did not feel out of place.

I think Blog.tv is a good example, I have not seen HappySlip Philippines Tourism stuff but going to go find it, you got a URL?

The Ibeatyou, wow I covered that back in May 08 and was a big fan of it then.
http://adspace-pioneers.blogspot.com/2008/05/jessica-alba-tipping-point.html
I didnt know KevJumba was the reason Jessica Alba responded, that I agree is a good example of how it can work.

Thanks for all those examples, it seems that technology/entertainment brands work best in this area.

Do you think something like a link to a page with the commercial agreements on their homepage could be accepted amongst Vloggers?

@DanielOyston I think when there is a perfect fit then there is no need to hide the link, however I can understand that it would take away from the story in a number of cases. Such as in The Stare comp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CguCyEX51Gc

I cannot imagaine them starting that with, This is a paid spot by 'I beat you'

@JyeSmith I agree we do sometimes just love brands, I can't wait till the day that Nike Air sponsors me! :)

@Kimota Is there not a difference between entertainment and news sources?

I can understand what you are saying about Laws jumping to another channel but if there was a blanket rule on everything then wouldn't we need to pull television shows and films into line with the number of endorsement deals they have. What about music video clips as well.

Chris Brown is my favourite on this
0:27 what the hell is that?!?!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJSBwZ3XRac

Mark Pollard said...

I agree with Daniel's point: why NOT disclose?

Also @Nat I don't see Blendtec or T-Mobile as the same beast.

@Julian I still need to get clear on what we're arguing about or if we're arguing... or if we're violently agreeing:
Whisper campaigns aren't cool

Kimota said...

So Laws is news now? He was entertainment in exactly the same as a blogger is entertainment - spouting what are supposed to be his personal opinions interspersed with shocking music choices. And television has the same conditions - it isn't peculiar to radio. I think the reader or viewer likes to know if an opinion they are placing stock by is paid for. Word of mouth is hugely powerful as a marketing tool, but to the consumer there is a major difference between unsolicitied recommendation (such as Korn with Adidas or a friend telling you about a restaurant they enjoyed) and a paid endorsement that may otherwise be no more valuable that Pat Rafter spruiking online florists or 'active underwear' or whichever other brand has just driven a truck of cash to his door.

In essence, I think Daniel's comment sums it up best - the only reason not to announce the sponsorshipp is a fear that it would be negatively received. What does that tell us about the tactic?

Bones Lawley said...

Hey Jules, feel free to delet this, I've just finally got back from India and have responded to your 7 things thing. Thanks brew.

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