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YouTube Opinion Endorse a product you don't believe in?

kalaspuffar

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Hi everyone.

I got approached by a company where their product wasn't appealing to me. I can see that some of my subscribers might want/need the product, but I would never use it for something serious as I know a lot of other products that solve my problems in a better manner.

This particular sponsor I gave them some numbers that are more than my channel viewers are worth in general, but then again, it's a specific audience so they might accept the offer anyway. The jury is still out.

I'm curious would you endorse a product when you don't believe in it?

Best regards
Daniel
 

Spanglish | Team TB

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I'll be honest, that's a tough question. I'm an honest person for the most part so I would not endorse a product I wouldn't use. But what if times are really hard and the offer has a handsome payoff? That can tempt a lot of people. Even if you follow the rules and ensure the video states it's a paid endorsement or advertisement. It would still be wrong to me. But money situations can make people do things one would never consider before. I've seen what it can do to people.
 

Tito Tim

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Personally I would not - but I am doing YouTube more for fun, than for the money. I was approached last month by a site that paid very well for ads, but I could not promote something I do not believe in. I do not necessarily have to use it, but if it is junk, I cannot promote it. Personal ethics have always been a problem for me ha ha

I even went into my AdSense settings and turned off political and religious ads. If I have no control on who buys the ads, I would rather block the whole genre. It cut my ad revenue by 50%, and I am ok with that.
 

HeatherPsyD

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As a psychologist, it's hard to predict or makes inferences about human behavior, especially with so little context. As much as people may not want to hear this, the majority of people have a price. We're going through difficult times right now, and many of us are desperate.

I don't know the focus of your channel or subject of this prospective video, but if you are experiencing doubts about endorsing a product you don't believe, to the extent that you're posting on this forum, you may already have your answer. Sometimes we need validation. I respect that.

Personally, I wouldn't endorse anything I don't believe in, but I'd sure try to think about ways it could. Ethically, professionally, morally, etc., that goes against my values. My viewers trust me, and trust in the field of psychology is something that should never be betrayed.

Best of luck with your decision, although I believe you'll make the right one.
 

Damon

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Never endorse or promote something you don't believe in. Very few people can sell :poop: to a brick. When you believe in something, people can pick up that. It's something unsaid. Maybe it's body language, maybe it's something else. As an online fishing tackle shop owner, what products do I sell the most? The ones I made with my own hands or fish with the most often.

If you really want to know about selling or promoting, read My Life in Advertising, by Claude C. Hopkins. He is the man who invented the coupon. The reality and devil's advocate here is that most things I'm interested may have zero marketplace value whatsoever. That's the other side of it. You really have to balance the two. You have to believe in it, and there has to be a genuine market for it.
 

Stanley | Team TB

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I turn them down mostly... but i am open to the prospect of advertising a product that doesn't necessarily work well for me if it provides value to my audience, is for some reason actually worth promoting and the company who made it is ok with me being totally upfront and honest about my feelings for the product.
 

Beanie Draws

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It depends on the product and fit. There are products out there that I might not necessarily NEED or use, but they could be useful to my audience. for example, most of my drawings are done on iPad, i have a wacom tablet, but I rarely use it (if they somehow see this post, I won't say no to a cintique though) I know my audience probably can't afford a cintique, but if Wacom wanted to do a sponsor spot on my channel to promote a cintique, I'd do it. It depends on the sponsor and the niche of your channel. If You're say a fishing channel, doing a sponsor spot for raid shadow legends video game probably isn't the best idea, but if say squarespace wanted to do a sponsor spot with a fishing channel, I can see how some channels would benifit. I've seen DeFranco take some strange sponsor spots, but still loosly fits in with what he does.

I would also advise to avoid "sponsor" deals with small start ups of the software kind, especially vpns, considering a lot of big channels have done sponsor deals with large scale vpn companies, smaller companies might fall for the unnamed vpn sponsor deal that's actually a scam that takes control of your channel.

Be mindful of everything, but if it's safe, and it fits somewhere in your niche, I'd consider it.

It's also good to do a background check on the company you plan to work with. Especially considering "Better health" was caught up in a big controversy which saw a lot of channels have to explain why they did a deal with "better health" that eventually hurt their reputation because they didn't research the history of the company enough.
 

Kari B

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Is it a product you don't like/think is worth the money or do you think there are better products out there for a bit more money? Would it fit if you did a video on it as a good budget version? Are they asking you to rave about it or could you say it might be good for a beginner/light user, but so good for hardcore users?

Someone I follower started promoting lots of products late last year, she did two conflicting diet food services about a month apart and a lot of her followers called her out on it. I lost respect for her and don't watch as many of her videos as I used to.

I would advertise something I don't use if I thought it might help others, but not if I thought the product wasn't fit for use - for example, I would review a tent for two people and say it would be good for a couple but not great for a large family, but I wouldn't promote a tent made of paper.
 

Damo’s Paintings

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I wouldn’t endorse something I have no knowledge of, or something I don’t have a strong belief in.

As we have a channel to run well and a professional image to maintain, the last thing we’d want is something that could undo all our hard work, and all it’ll take is the wrong product, but then the right item could give the channel a nice little boost, it’s hit and miss.
 

Gunjit

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First of all you should do research on the product, If you end up thinking that its a scam then DO not promote it. If you think its just that you don't like it but the product is fine then you can consider it
 

Kids Fun

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It is good to see there are still people out there that stand up for what they believe against. I personally would never endorse a product I do not believe in.
 

leroygaming

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I honestly would have to say that it would depend on the product. If it is a product that could be used by my viewers/subscribers, then I may pitch the idea to my viewers and see how they react to such a product. I am mainly a gaming channel, so if the product were about fishing, then more likely, I wouldn't. If it were something gamers could use for their gaming experience, then I would take the option to do so, but it would depend on the product and possibly the brand.
 

EnglishwithLiz

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As much as people may not want to hear this, the majority of people have a price. We're going through difficult times right now, and many of us are desperate.
Just came across this old thread and it really made me think.

Heather , unfortunately, is soooo right. We all like to think we would not be tempted, but......

Is this a sad indictment of today's society, probably, but I think it is good to consider being in this situation and how we would react and not how we think we would react. I believe self examination on a regular basis is a good for the soul - I'll get off my box now :)
 

Ater

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Personally not, it would be against my own pride and integrity. Also I believe that my viewers would see straight throw me if I started to sell out like that and that would hurt the channel in the long run.

But of course if you are willing to offer me millions everything is possible.
 

Jeffrey Powers

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My2Cents: Disclose to the company your concerns, and accept the campaign with the stipulation you may not be endorsing and you will return all assets if this does not change your mind. Schedule a one-on-one when you get the product to go over how it works. Voice EVERY concern, and see if they are willing to change.

In the end, you might find they take your advise and make a product that appeals to you, or you've spent some time with a product that you know you won't care for, and can be comfortable in disclosing that. Either way, you've given it a try.

Sometimes, you'll be surprised how something you don't care for turns into something you love.
 

SILTHW

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Maybe take it out of the YouTube context for a second.

In my industry, especially at industry events, I am often required to promote a sponsor in my talks. The difference is that I am simply reading their copy versus "endorsing" their product by claiming I personally use it and recommend it to others. I don't really have an issue with doing this. And I'm pretty sure my audience knows the difference between me advertising something and endorsing something.

That is where I've always held my personal line and I would apply it to YouTube. I have no issue advertising something if I feel it is relevant to my audience. But I will not endorse something I don't personally use and find value in.
 

IanDominicTV

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For me, if ever I get brand deals, I will only accept brands that I use and trust.
 

Paddle & hike

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I do lots of reviews but I cannot promote something that I don't like.
My reviews will be impartial... if it's good....great!... if it's bad..well too bad!
I was lucky to review products that were pretty good til now but who knows.... Could find crappy stuff later on.
But I won't lie or fake my opinion for free stuff or money.

Well.... Gimme 10 billions and i will sell that magic ice cream mixer to the amazon tribes. (kidding)
 

HalfwayDcent

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Hi everyone.

I got approached by a company where their product wasn't appealing to me. I can see that some of my subscribers might want/need the product, but I would never use it for something serious as I know a lot of other products that solve my problems in a better manner.

This particular sponsor I gave them some numbers that are more than my channel viewers are worth in general, but then again, it's a specific audience so they might accept the offer anyway. The jury is still out.

I'm curious would you endorse a product when you don't believe in it?

Best regards
Daniel
I think this is more complicated then just immediately siding with a moral no. For many it tends to lean more into a grey zone of moral ambiguity and becomes a larger discussion about the true impact (or lack there of dependent on your views) of a "little white lie".
On one hand I understand promoting products that even you yourself wouldn't use and just as someone said everyone has a price. Like you said, some of your viewers may enjoy the product and if you are using youtube as a business or source of income, you need to make money.
However, we have seen this go wrong so many times before. It is easy to think of bigger names being involved in scandals where they endorsed a product that viewers were not impressed by and there was a huge negative reaction.
The most ideal situation would be to see if you can come to some kind of agreement with the sponsor that doesn't involve you over selling and saying things you don't believe, or that allows you to give a polite honest review like "even though i don't use this, some of you starting out might enjoy it". However, not ever sponsor is going to agree with that.
There is a huge risk/reward aspect here and the general opinion (which I agree with) is that so much more can go wrong than can go right. However, you have to make that decision for yourself and decide what sits best with you financially and a moral choice you can stand behind.