When three big food bloggers forwarded an email invitation to me within minutes of each other, I had to take a look. All three were insulted by this offer but knew that other food bloggers would take the companies up on it.
Here’s a condensed version of the invite, with sponsor names deleted:
“We enjoy your culinary blog, and share your passion for cooking and fine cuisine. To provide a fun way to try new recipes with your friends, we offer you the opportunity to host an Easy & Elegant Dinner Party in your home.
“Here’s how it works.You and 1000 fellow foodies across the country will simultaneously host Easy & Elegant Dinner Parties. If selected as a host, you will receive a generous party pack – including two pieces of cookware, the celebrity chef’s newest cookbook, a food stipend and several gifts – all the tools you need for the gathering (of about 15 people). And, you will have an opportunity to participate in a technique class to see the cookware in action – before your event.
“Through this experience you and your party guests will get a wealth of creative culinary inspiration. Further, as a blogger, you are invited to share these ideas with your readers – and include them in this adventure.
“CLICK HERE to immediately link to the party host invitation site. Hosting opportunities are limited. And, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
Said one of the bloggers in her email, “And you thought asking for free content was bad? This pitch represents an all-time low. I felt the need to shower immediately after reading it. But it’s really not that far from what bloggers are being asked to do these days. It would be funny if only it wasn’t so horrible.”
Said another, “Unbelievable. I’m excited to sit back and watch the zillions of people who jump all over it, because you *know* they will.The thing is, this will be effective for them. That’s the irony.”
Said the third, tongue firmly in cheek, “BUT YOU GET TWO PANS!!!!!! SCORE!!!!!!!!”
If you’ve been reading my blog you already know how I feel about this offer. Bloggers are notorious for writing advertorial because they’re so excited about the freebies and flattered to be asked. I don’t like advertorial, unless clearly marked as such in magazines. I like story-telling, essays or reporting in blogs. The word “awesome” should not appear.
So I hope many food bloggers will decline. Maybe they’ll find only 500. Or 50. I can hope.
Maybe you think I’m wrong. Will the marketer will have any trouble finding 1000 food bloggers to take them up on their offer? Is this a good thing for food bloggers or a bad thing?
Photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons