Bloggers as Video Ads Endorsers – Commensal and “60 blogueurs Québécois en 60 secondes”

I recently took part, along with 60 other bloggers from Québec, in a video ad (you can see me in the video at 0:33) for Commensal restaurants where the message urges Stephen Harper’s government to fight against climate change and, to a more global extent, to generate more awareness of the climate change issue. The video appeared on Youtube on Tuesday November 10 and has already been seen by more than 3,000 people, which is an acceptable number.

Whether you like this ad or not, an interesting question that needs more attention is the following: Is using bloggers as endorsers a good way to spread a message? Before answering this question, we need to define what is a good endorser. According to the literature on ad endorsements, the three most important characteristics are: (1) honesty, (2) credibility, and (3) attractiveness. Thus, we ask the following three questions:

1. Are bloggers honest?
2. Are bloggers experts?
3. Are bloggers attractive?

Furthermore, because bloggers are also opinion leaders, we can add this fourth question:

4. Are bloggers good at propagating a message?

So here’s a more detailed analysis of these four questions.

Jean-Francois Belisle in the video

1. Are bloggers honest?

Most bloggers are honest when they endorse a cause. I would also tend to think that bloggers would be judged as more honest than journalists. However, fake blogs (flogs) which are more and more present in the blogosphere are not helping the reputation of bloggers.

2. Are bloggers credible?

In opposition to honesty, credibility is not universal across topics. Someone can be considered as honest for all topics, but it is way more difficult to be considered as credible for lots of topics. For instance, when I am blogging about e-marketing and technology, I can be considered as credible. However, if I decide to endorse a product similar to a ShamWow, I am pretty sure I would not be credible at all.

3. Are bloggers attractive?

Even though we can say in reference to Oscar Wilde that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, bloggers haven’t been known to be the most beautiful people. However, for having studied the concept of beauty, I agree that we can say that attractiveness is partly subjective and can also depend on the context.

4. Are bloggers good at propagating a message?

Bloggers have generally access to lots of blogger friends that also know other blogger friends. Thus, they are generally good at propagating a message. Furthermore and most importantly, they have access to their fanbase of readers. However, as discussed before, it is not because a blogger is read by many readers that the message will be propagated; if honesty, credibility and attractiveness are not there, chances of propagation are way lower. In the case of the Commensal video, we can say that bloggers are mostly good at propagating the message if they at least blog about it, which we’ll see the impact in the next few days.

Conclusion

Briefly, what do you think of this ad? Will you propagate it? Do you think using bloggers is a good way to endorse and/or propagate a message? What do you think of this strategy? Other cool things to add on the topic?

Jean-Francois Belisle

P.S.: For those who might be interested, here are some links to the blogs of the 60 bloggers who participated to this video:

1. Caroline Allard – http://www.trashindigne.blogspot.com
2. Pierre-Léon Lalonde – http://www.taxidenuit.blogspot.com
3. Daniel Rondeau – http://www.danielrondeau.com
4. Jeff Lee – http://www.bombe.tv
5. Bob le chef – http://www.boblechef.com
6. Dominic Arpin – http://www.dominicarpin.ca
7. Josianne Massé – http://www.blogosphere.branchez-vous.com
8. Catherine Beauchamp – http://www.letapisrosedecatherine.tv
9. Maxime Tremblay – http://www.photosmax.blogs.com
10. Jean-Michel Vanasse – http://www.jeanmichelvanasse.tv
11. Martine Pagé – http://www.martinepage.com
12. Patrick Dion – http://www.patrickdion.ca
13. Laurent Maisonnave – http://www.zelaurent.com
14. Renart Léveillé – http://www.renartleveille.wordpress.com
15. Pierre-Luc Cloutier – http://www.dansmatele.ca
16. Catherine Perreault-Lessard – http://www.urbania.ca
17. Sylvain Grandmaison – http://www.fono.ca
18. Philippe Martin – http://www.nayezpaspeur.ca
19. Claude Malaison – http://www.emergenceweb.com
20. Laurent Lasalle – http://www.mesparolessenvolent.com
21. Carl Charest – http://www.carlcharest.com
22. Nadia Seraiocco – http://www.cheznadia.com
23. Cecile Gladel – http://www.cecilegladel.blogspot.com
24. Josée Plamondon – http://www.joseeplamondon.com
25. Thoma Daneau – http://www.thomadaneau.com
26. Diane Nadeau – http://www.dianenadeau.ca
27. Diane Bourque – http://www.dianebourque.com
28. Marie-Julie Gagnon – http://www.marieju.com
29. Jonathan Villiard – http://www.villiard.com/blog
30. Jean-François Bélisle – http://www.jfbelisle.com
31. Julia Vallelunga – http://www.alamodemontreal.com
32. Gabrielle Chalifoux – http://www.pretextes.ca
33. Jérôme Paradis – http://www.paradivision.com/blog
34. Sophie Peloquin – http://www.commensal.com/blogue
35. Catherine Lefebvre – http://www.lethnogourmande.blogspot.com
36. Véronique Desrosiers – http://www.mintbirdy.ca
37. Nathalie Rivard – http://www.twitter.com/indigonat
38. Alain Thériault – http://alaintheriault.com/startupcoach
39. Martin Lessard – http://www.zeroseconde.com
40. Maxime Dubreuil – http://www.thefoodfeed.blogspot.com
41. Marc Poulin – http://www.marcpoulin.blogspot.com/
42. Olivier Mermet – http://www.oliviermermet.com/blog
43. Katerine Rollet – http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/blogs
44. Christian Aubry – http://www.aubry.org
45. Marie-Louise Gariépy – http://www.videoqualia.blogspot.com
46. Mélanie Briev – http://www.ouvregrandtesailes.com
47. Julien Galtier – http://blog.baobaz.com
48. Cedric Essiminy – http://www.lebagelblog.wordpress.com
49. Paulina Podgorska – http://www.sosgarde.ca
50. Nicola Navratil – http://www.nicolanavratil.com
51. Christine Renaud – http://www.e-180.com
52. Frédéric Clairoux – http://www.fxstudiodesign.blogspot.com
53. Karl-Frédéric Anctil – http://www.ekorce.com/blog
54. Christelle Samson – http://www.twitter.com/christ_elle
55. David Hamel – http://www.davidhamel.ca
56. Martin Ouellette – http://www.provokat.ca
57. Yves William – http://www.yveswilliams.com
58. Adrien OLeary – http://www.b-unique.ca
59. Gina Desjardins – http://www.ginadesjardins.com
60. Michelle Blanc – http://www.michelleblanc.com

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5 thoughts on “Bloggers as Video Ads Endorsers – Commensal and “60 blogueurs Québécois en 60 secondes””

  1. Re: Effectiveness. My view is this: Media fragmentation means that I can seek out news and commentary that reinforce my beliefs. If I have conservative views, I subscribe to and watch FOX. If I have liberal views I tune in to CBS or ABC. This is further exaggerated with blogs. If I am a big environmentalist, I will seek out blogs to support and further my pre-existing views. In this sense, the blogging is “preaching to the converted.” On the plus side, this reinforcement may spur the converted into action. On the down side, there is the potential for increasing radicalization of views.

    Re: Attractiveness. Ashton Kutcher, Melanie Griffith, and a bunch of models have blogs. Plus you look great in that blue striped sweater. 😉

  2. Hey hey thanks Bob for the comment and thanks for the blue striped sweater comment. I totally agree that the “media fragmentation” concept is so important and is further exaggerated with blogs. However, I would tend to think that if a blogger advertise a product that isn’t aligned with his/her expertise, even though readers may generally share the blogger’s point of view due to media fragmentation, then propagation will tend to be lower compared to a situation where the product is aligned with the expertise, this is generally referred to as the “match-up hypothesis” in ad endorsement.

  3. Hey,

    On one hand, I have to admit that it’s an interesting way to fight for a good cause.
    On the other hand, few questions pop into my head (that are linked with your questions) :
    – isn’t it a good ad for those bloggers more than for “the planet” ? (the other blogs’ readers will probably want to check out blogs they didn’t know about before)
    – as we cannot really recognize those bloggers, will they really have an influence on people in a video ? As you said they might blog about it but beside their blog, their faces are not well known.

    It is just questions I ask. And, I don’t alter the fact that bloggers are fighting for an important cause with this video.

    Eve

  4. Thanks Eve for your comment. You raised interesting points that could generate more discussion.

    1. To your first question, I would tend to think that this kind of ad is beneficial for both parties. Like you mention, it is an ad for the cause and it is also an ad for the bloggers. However, when Kate Winslet appears in an ad for l’Oréal, we can say that it is an ad for Kate Winslet, as well as an ad for l’Oréal. In this way, they both get some benefits out of it, unless the fit is really bad between the advertisers and the endorser.

    2. Your second question is interesting. I personally agree that most viewers don’t really know who these bloggers are, and I think the impact is more at the aggregate-level than at the individual-level. In this way, it is more about the reunion of these bloggers than about these bloggers individually. However, concerning the impact of bloggers on this cause, I am pretty sure it is minimal, since Quebec is way ahead compared to the rest of Canada in terms of educating people to the climate cause.

  5. Hey Jean François,

    First, I believe that the concept shown in the ad is original and creative, but also effective: Like you said in your previous comment, having 60 people gathered toward a single cause and doing the same thing in the ad certainly attracts people’s attention.

    However, i still believe that the strategy chosen by Commensal to spread the word could have been done more efficiently…Why?
    In this particular ad, I believe that bloggers are not good endorsers based on their lack of credibility (Q2 of your post). Like you said, I will trust you if you talk about e-marketing and technology, but i won’t trust your opinion as regards climate issues. So even if i watch the video on your blog, i won’t post it on my blog, my twitter or my facebook, simply because i did not like it enough to represent it thoughout all the social media where i am present…so Viral Marketing stops here.
    Moreover, I believe that a better title could have been chosen for the video: Is it really useful to explain in the title that the video is illustrating “60 bloggeurs québécois”?

    My recommendations:
    1)Commensal could have used people with more “expert power”, that is, people who know more about the climate issues and that would have been more credible…Why not using bloggers who post articles related to the environment, sustainable development.
    2) But doing so would not be enough (actually, just doing so would change nothing). To be fully effective, i believe that the video should have shown the URL address of the company with a sentence such as “Pour en savoir plus, rendez-vous sur http://www...”. Then, for those who would actually go on Commensal’s website, it should have a special section/page explaining the concept of the video, showing the names of the bloggers who participated to the video as well as links reffering to their blogs (just like you did on this post!), where all the bloggers would then put more detailled information on how to act to solve climate issues.
    3) I believe the video would have reached more people if it had been done in English instead of French…First, simply because english is spoken by almost everyone in Canada and even in the rest of the world, which is definitely not the case of French. Second, because like you said, Quebec is way ahead compared to the rest of Canada in terms of educating people to the climate cause…So i believe that Quebecers did not need this video as much as Canadians from other provinces.

    Marc

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