PAID FOR video testimonials?

57 replies
As I know many of you, especially in this industry, have testimonial videos for promoting your products... Have you ever paid for them? The reason I'm asking is Mark Victor Hanson (SP?) anyway, I see this guy ALOT on video's promoting products here and there. I seen he did a testimonial or Anthony Morrison, But as we most know, Anthony Morrison's products wouldn't have helped someone like MVH... I mean, I could see a ready market for people willing to pay for his endorsment.

Well, as I'm typing this, I'm realizing that an endorsement and a testimonial aren't the same.... hhmmm..... Anyone ever paid for an endorsement?

And endorsement brokerage might make loot!


Lemme know what you think..
Dustin
#paid #testimonials #video
  • Profile picture of the author ChadOath
    Just search Fiverr.com for "video testimonial"...
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    • Profile picture of the author Newbieee
      ya sure. [responding to "endorsement brokerage might make loot!"] <just in case ppl misunderstand me saying yes to the title of the thread>


      There are lots of fake stuff out there.

      As long as there is a demand and people are willing to pay for something.
      That makes a market.

      And there will always be ready sellers waiting to cash in on wadever buyers are willing to pay.

      I dont support tat anyway.

      Usually i like to look at the eyes of the guy doing the video.
      If its going left right left right then most probably he is reading a script.
      Not that im saying its 100% fake. But it should make u think.

      And also, if i see a testimony i will head over to fiverr and type in video testimonial and see all the faces there.

      If i find any familiar faces, then i will avoid that service or product.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
      Originally Posted by ChadOath View Post

      Just search Fiverr.com for "video testimonial"...
      Anyone who sells these services, or buys these services from Fiverr deserves a kick in the nuts and a beer in the face.

      This is not only really bad advice, it's borderline if not completely illegal.
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      • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
        Originally Posted by Jason Moffatt View Post

        Anyone who sells these services, or buys these services from Fiverr deserves a kick in the nuts and a beer in the face.

        This is not only really bad advice, it's borderline if not completely illegal.
        Hey JaMo,

        I feel the same but when I think about why people do it I guess it's not much different to the adverts you see on TV where some celebrity has been paid to say "hey, this shampoo leaves my hair feeling shiny - I think you'll like it too, try it today", when it's just a paying gig for them and they may or may not have even heard of the product.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
          Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

          Hey JaMo,

          I feel the same but when I think about why people do it I guess it's not much different to the adverts you see on TV where some celebrity has been paid to say "hey, this shampoo leaves my hair feeling shiny - I think you'll like it too, try it today", when it's just a paying gig for them and they may or may not have even heard of the product.
          Any celeb who promotes a product they don't believe in deserves a kick in the nuts too!
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        • Profile picture of the author Newbieee
          Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

          Hey JaMo,

          I feel the same but when I think about why people do it I guess it's not much different to the adverts you see on TV where some celebrity has been paid to say "hey, this shampoo leaves my hair feeling shiny - I think you'll like it too, try it today", when it's just a paying gig for them and they may or may not have even heard of the product.
          Good point.
          I almost forgot about this.

          But still it doesnt seem right.
          Morally.

          But i guess somehow we all know that Big ambassadors on tv ads are all "fake" in a way.
          Meaning they are just the face for the brand.
          Not that the ambassador is saying he used it and its good.
          Even if he did say it, we brush it aside.

          For example we dont buy Nike thinking "oh tiger woods use nike"
          or buy gillette shaver cos he used it too.

          So in a way, its understood.

          But online, when ppl are looking to pay for something, and are looking for reviews and testimonies, they are looking for real live experiences.
          Thats where ppl really put their trust on other "strangers" who supposedly have tried the product and have a good word to say without having any compensation.
          Thus making it credible.

          Thats the same logic when you have 1 guy writing a review site and have affiliate links all over saying this is good it will make you tons of money!
          You will go suspicious on him right?

          But if a review site has nothing, no links. You will tend to belief him more.
          [of cos there is a possibility that that product is his thus he doesnt need an affiliate link to begin with, but this is just for comprehension sake regarding being compensated and not.]


          So i guess is what people expect, and how mature the market is to the new trend.
          In tv ads, we all dont take them seriously anymore. So to pay a celebrity millions to promote a brand right in your face is nothing. Becos we all know and cant be bothered.

          But online we still look for credible written reviews or video reviews, thus by deceiving the audience, the general public will still feel that is bad.

          But of cos, in terms of morality and ethics, intent is the key, and in both cases, both are wrong.
          Just that in general, since ppl are used to tv ads being fake and not online reviews, they will still hate the fake testimonials.

          So in conclusion, it all boils down to 1 word. Expectations.
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          • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
            Originally Posted by Newbieee View Post

            Good point.
            I almost forgot about this.

            But still it doesnt seem right.
            Morally.

            But i guess somehow we all know that Big ambassadors on tv ads are all "fake" in a way.
            Meaning they are just the face for the brand.
            Not that the ambassador is saying he used it and its good.
            Even if he did say it, we brush it aside.

            For example we dont buy Nike thinking "oh tiger woods use nike"
            or buy gillette shaver cos he used it too.

            So in a way, its understood.
            It's just basic psychology.

            They find someone you like and put their product next to them.

            It's "hey look - you like this person, they make you smile - now look at our product. Are you still smiling? If not look at the celeb again - smile - now look at our product. Does our product make you feel good yet? now go buy it"
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            • Profile picture of the author Newbieee
              Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

              It's just basic psychology.

              They find someone you like and put their product next to them.

              It's "hey look - you like this person, they make you smile - now look at our product. Are you still smiling? If not look at the celeb again - smile - now look at our product. Does our product make you feel good yet? now go buy it"
              Hahahah ya..

              Its also playing with the subconscious mind i guess.
              Lets say you are a gold player [edit: sry, haha Golf player, was looking at gold charts lol], and you see tiger woods use nike, you will equip yourself with nike gear. hahah.
              Not that u think nike is good, or that he said nike was good.
              You like him, you think his good, and he wears nike.
              You will subconciously also want to wear nike, hoping to be as good as him.
              Or at least feel as good as him.
              :p
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      • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
        Originally Posted by Jason Moffatt View Post

        Anyone who sells these services, or buys these services from Fiverr deserves a kick in the nuts and a beer in the face.

        This is not only really bad advice, it's borderline if not completely illegal.
        That's a waste of good beer! It deserves a better fate than being thrown in the face of a scammer.


        @ the OP - I wouldn't pay for a testimonial or an endorsement, but I would consider hiring an attractive spokesperson in the right circumstances. My mugly ug ain't gonna inspire many sales. :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author Dustin Lyle
    My thoughts exactly!

    Trying to tell myself that Mark Victor Hanson actually used a 49.00 product with 1 upsell for 99.00 then gave an HD testimonial had me scratching my head. I sell all the time to people who fly private or rent yachts, "rich" people i guess, and whatever they buy has got to be expensive just for the fact that is where their pocketbook/mindset is at.
    And the fact that he made this testimonial, being sure to drop the name of the course AND the creator, even IF he used it and made 20 grand yada yada... MVH gets 20k to show up, and twice that to open his mouth.

    My verdict is that he got paid to do it..

    "Hey MVH, I got 20K cash right here, just read the words as they scroll across this IPAD."
    ^^^^^^^^^Pretty good idea huh :p^^^^^^^^^^^
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      There's already a large group of "endorsement brokers" - they're called "agents"...
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    Ya it's a pretty bad idea to pay for testimonials or endorsements because people know what's going on most of the time...

    A little while ago there were a bunch of big name marketers who had to take off a bunch of their testimonials because they paid actors for them...

    Not worth the hassle from a consumer point or vendor
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    On a reputation management webinar late last year I learned that if you are going to use paid testimonials, you must inform the viewer of that fact up front.

    Same thing goes for written testimonials: you must inform the reader if you gave them the product/service for free in exchange for the testimonial.

    When I first got into IM I thought a confident, articulate spokesperson would be a good idea and I got a couple of testimonial vids from one guy. Never did much with them, but two years later someone recognized him on some old page and slagged me for it. They were right and I took the vids down. Hadn't even visited or thought of the page in all that time. Learning curve...

    Ask your customers for them.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    Dustin,

    I know that most of the time, people get paid to give out a testimonial.

    In Mark Victor Hansen's case, he may have gotten paid and he may have not. Nobody knows for sure. Maybe Anthony asked Mark to review his product and give his testimonial for a fee. I don't really know.

    You can't tell what is fake and what is real.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeTucker
    Dustin, I think it's great that you're thinking creatively
    and looking for opportunities and ideas... Such a level
    of thinking will lead to good things!

    But yep as John pointed out, they're called "agents".
    And there are quite a few high-powered agents already
    working the online marketing niches. (Which means
    that yes, there is money in it!)

    As for those who are "against" paid testimonials
    and endorsements, well, I don't know what to say.
    It's Marketing 101, really.

    Terrible products like Pepsi and Nike Air became
    success stories because of the right endorsements,
    and some great products have failed without them.

    If you're trying to make a lot of money, and you're
    not getting testimonials and/or endorsements from
    the most influential people in your niche, you're
    probably working way too hard for way too little.

    You may not like it, and you might not "fall for it",
    but remember, you are not your market!



    P.S. Sometimes getting "paid" doesn't necessarily
    mean money... It could be out of friendship, a future deal,
    more exposure for themselves, and even "just" an
    introduction to someone they want to meet...
    Unless they disclose, we don't really know their
    motivation... Also, a lack of money should never be an
    excuse for you to not seek out endorsements for
    your own business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dustin Lyle
      Originally Posted by MikeTucker View Post

      Dustin, I think it's great that you're thinking creatively
      and looking for opportunities and ideas... Such a level
      of thinking will lead to good things!

      But yep as John pointed out, they're called "agents".
      And there are quite a few high-powered agents already
      working the online marketing niches. (Which means
      that yes, there is money in it!)

      As for those who are "against" paid testimonials
      and endorsements, well, I don't know what to say.
      It's Marketing 101, really.

      Terrible products like Pepsi and Nike Air became
      success stories because of the right endorsements,
      and some great products have failed without them.

      If you're trying to make a lot of money, and you're
      not getting testimonials and/or endorsements from
      the most influential people in your niche, you're
      probably working way too hard for way too little.

      You may not like it, and you might not "fall for it",
      but remember, you are not your market!


      And YOU SIR... Get it!

      Especially the "you are not your market" portion.

      Don't worry, add me on Facebook and I will certainly give you credit for coming up with the title of my next book. Which will be....*drummmmrolll*


      "You Are Not Your Market"
      Written By: Dustin Lyle
      Foreword written by: Mike Tucker



      :p

      It seems all to often, that people develop their products/pages/everything
      as if they were the customers. Which, for some reason, is not generally a great way to do business. People develop a love affair with their own product and feel that it has to suit them personally in order to be successful. Au contraire my friend

      "Real artists ship"-Steve Jobs.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikemeth
    Yes I always find them on fiverr but never look for top rated and best selling ones as can be found all over the internet. Check the new gigs for that.
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  • Profile picture of the author RichBeck
    Dustin,

    I agree....

    There is a huge difference between an endorsement and a testimonial..... An endorsement is promoting something... A testimonial is based on actual results.....

    The problem is many people see them as one in the same.....

    To me, there is nothing wrong with getting an attractive gal to create a "endorsement video" for your product..... Describing what problem it solves......

    The problem arises when people fabricate "testimonial videos"... It is not only ethically wrong..... It is illegal in the US of A...

    God Bless,


    Rich Beck BCIP, MCSD, MCIS
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    • Profile picture of the author Newbieee
      Originally Posted by RichBeck View Post

      Dustin,

      I agree....

      There is a huge difference between an endorsement and a testimonial..... An endorsement is promoting something... A testimonial is based on actual results.....

      The problem is many people see them as one in the same.....

      To me, there is nothing wrong with getting an attractive gal to create a "endorsement video" for your product..... Describing what problem it solves......

      The problem arises when people fabricate "testimonial videos"... It is not only ethically wrong..... It is illegal in the US of A...

      God Bless,

      Rich Beck
      Another great point !

      Thanks for reminding us the difference.

      But of cos there is a blurry line where some advertisers mix the 2 and go into the grey area.

      They make ambassadors say they tried and its good.
      So the endorsement video has abit of "fake experience" in it as appose to purely stating what the product is and the good side of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rbtmarshall
    Fiverr seems to be a cesspool of FTC and other law violations. I'm not sure who is to blame for that; the gig creators, fiverr, or the end user.
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    • Profile picture of the author bengirwb
      Hmmmm.

      Do you suppose a big company would ever get the idea of paying to get its product included in a major film?

      Naah.

      Reeses Butter Cup wouldn't do that in ET.

      If they did, folks would hollar foul.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dustin Lyle
        Originally Posted by bengirwb View Post

        Hmmmm.

        Do you suppose a big company would ever get the idea of paying to get its product included in a major film?

        Naah.

        Reeses Butter Cup wouldn't do that in ET.

        If they did, folks would hollar foul.
        Thats called product placement, not the same as product endorsement.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gengis
    Fake video testimonials are a HUGE no no.. if you get caught, people will never buy from you again..

    You work hard to put together a product, a sales page etc.. and you ruin it with fake testimonials risking to get caught.

    Internet Marketing is a real business.. Let's start treating it as such.
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  • Profile picture of the author Young Financier
    If you don't do it, the next person will and they will reap the rewards.
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    • Profile picture of the author Loumonchu
      It's my belief that a fake testimonial is TOTALLY unethical (how can one give an honest testimonial when they had never seen the product?). However, I believe an endorsement is ethical on the condition the one doing the actual endorsing has studied the product entirely and believes in their heart that it will bring value to the buyers of the product. I believe it to be unethical if they only endorse because they are paid to do so.
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  • Profile picture of the author BeeJay
    I was thinking about this the other day when I was doing some research and had found about a dozen testimonials from that fiverr vendor called Michelle (at least she calls herself Michelle in every video).

    She seems quite popular because she is all over YouTube. I had to giggle when there was a video about how she's been losing weight over the last few months using ketones, but then someone had a video uploaded a week later that had her dealing with stretch marks from the recent birth of her first child!

    I guess having a baby technically counts as losing weight?!?
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  • Profile picture of the author barickiza
    Search on Fiverr or post an job on peopleperhour.com
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Didn't the FTC release a statement that covers this topic or has implications regarding this topic?
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    • Profile picture of the author Dustin Lyle
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

      Didn't the FTC release a statement that covers this topic or has implications regarding this topic?
      Yes, the newest rules.......used to say "results not typical" it now must actually state a claim as to what the purchasers typical results should be. "what can be expected"...
      Also....


      Any payment made from or by anyone, must be stated clearly, along with the relationship of the parties to one another. "he found me on fiverr... and paid me to say this.."
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    • Profile picture of the author TerranceCharles
      It's not a bad method, you just have to be CAREFUL on who you're getting to provide these testimonials. If they are questioned long-term and don't really know anything about your product, that could get you into some hot water as your product being bogus and not real testimonials which could damage your reputation and stop your sales completely. I've seen some of the same testimonials on many different products and that stopped me from buying altogether.
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  • Profile picture of the author samjaynz
    Nah I've never paid for a video testimonial and never would. I pride myself on using honest reviews - I would rather sell a product with no reviews backing it than "cheat" and buy someone's good opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author JerrickYeoh
    Never paid for that because we usually exchange something in win win situation for that .
    We get video testimonial from them and return with some extra or longer services free for them or we also take this opportunities to help them promote instead on only promote ourselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author sal64
    Paid for video testimonials are as dishonest as photoshopped income figures. You would be afr better off having no testimonials. As the Fiverr ones become common you start to see the same face popping up on many websites. Besides, it's illegal and a disgrace to do this to your customers who have given you their trust.

    As for MVH, there are few gurus out there that will endorse products for people who are part of their high priced inner circle and mentoring groups. So you have to pay to get in, so to speak.
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  • Profile picture of the author CBusiness
    fake testimonials are everywhere

    have you seen TV Commercial ads? That's practically 70% of what's seen ... paid for co-signs

    Anyone saying Fiverr people are 'trash' dont know business imo
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Originally Posted by CBusiness View Post

      fake testimonials are everywhere

      have you seen TV Commercial ads? That's practically 70% of what's seen ... paid for co-signs

      Anyone saying Fiverr people are 'trash' dont know business imo
      With respect... I know business. I just choose ethical means.

      What about you?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rbtmarshall
    Most TV commercials that use endorsements claim that they are doing so in their ad. most people buying fiverr fake testimonials don't.

    One is breaking the law, the other isn't.


    an endorsement isn't the same thing as a fake testamonial
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Hi Jason Moffatt:
    I am a regular user of many FIVERR services. Most gigs are awesome. However, some are ####.

    What is wrong with me paying a performer to have a puppet hawk car insurance?
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    • Profile picture of the author Dustin Lyle
      Originally Posted by seobro View Post

      Hi Jason Moffatt:
      I am a regular user of many FIVERR services. Most gigs are awesome. However, some are ####.

      What is wrong with me paying a performer to have a puppet hawk car insurance?
      Prceless! :p


      But even car insurance commercials with actors in them state that the actors were paid..
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  • Profile picture of the author sal64
    To those who don't have a problem with this practice... how would you feel if you became the victim of these fake testimonials and purchased on that basis... let's say for $100?

    Would you cop it sweet and say "oh well, everyone does it so it's ok"... or would you squeal like a pig?
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    • Profile picture of the author Young Financier
      Originally Posted by sal64 View Post

      To those who don't have a problem with this practice... how would you feel if you became the victim of these fake testimonials and purchased on that basis... let's say for $100?

      Would you cop it sweet and say "oh well, everyone does it so it's ok"... or would you squeal like a pig?
      I'd feel $100 richer and think nothing of it.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by seobro View Post

        Hi Jason Moffatt:
        I am a regular user of many FIVERR services. Most gigs are awesome. However, some are ####.

        What is wrong with me paying a performer to have a puppet hawk car insurance?
        Nothing. No one is ever going to mistake the puppet for a real insurance buyer. Same as no one is going to believe a talking cartoon lizard.

        Originally Posted by RachelLily View Post

        I always chuckle to myself when I watch late night infomercials with paid actors acting the role of "satisfied customer". I think the web is a much more personal medium, and this kind of fakery won't be as effective. Savvy customers can't be fooled that easily. I also think it's very hard to fake an authentic interview on the actual site with the actual customer... hence the power of video.
        Yeah, I just tell myself "at least they aren't wasting their money on acting classes..."
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  • Profile picture of the author troy23
    I've not come across many honest internet marketers....promises promises promises.
    Faking testimonials just adds to this. Why would anyone want to do that? Don't people have any dignity or morals? If you are so insecure about your own product then take it off the market. Don't push something with the promises of this and that if you know in your heart it really does not deliver. There are many vulnerable people out there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
    If I receive an honest review in a positive tone of my product or service and I feel like it would be beneficial to have this person record them reiterating what they previously told me in the form of a video, I will pay them for their time and effort. - As long as they contacted me first.
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  • Profile picture of the author khooster1
    These video testimonials are often fake or collaborations.
    Nevertheless, these are great marketing tools, definitely improve the opt-in rate.
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  • Profile picture of the author aceshigh888
    depends if you wanna work as a con artist or as a business owner
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  • Profile picture of the author RachelLily
    I always chuckle to myself when I watch late night infomercials with paid actors acting the role of "satisfied customer". I think the web is a much more personal medium, and this kind of fakery won't be as effective. Savvy customers can't be fooled that easily. I also think it's very hard to fake an authentic interview on the actual site with the actual customer... hence the power of video.
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    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Originally Posted by RachelLily View Post

      I always chuckle to myself when I watch late night infomercials with paid actors acting the role of "satisfied customer". I think the web is a much more personal medium, and this kind of fakery won't be as effective. Savvy customers can't be fooled that easily. I also think it's very hard to fake an authentic interview on the actual site with the actual customer... hence the power of video.
      I love infomercials to be honest. Full of crap, but if you want to learn the basics of sales copy, marketing and how to sell a product... this is it.

      Everything you see online was once used offline. There is much to be learned from offline businesses. The internet, like TV is only a medium to reach your customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    Did Bruce Jenner really eat Wheaties in the 1970s when he won the gold medal?

    He said he did and it helped sales of the breakfast cereal. Still, you have to wonder if his eating that cereal really played much part in his winning the gold. The marketing would make it appear that it did.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rbtmarshall
      Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

      Did Bruce Jenner really eat Wheaties in the 1970s when he won the gold medal?

      He said he did and it helped sales of the breakfast cereal. Still, you have to wonder if his eating that cereal really played much part in his winning the gold. The marketing would make it appear that it did.

      It's been said many times in this thread, but that is called an endorsement, and is perfectly legal. It's like saying all investment brokers are involved in a ponzi scheme

      If you're star struck and don't notice the disclaimers flashing across the bottom of the screen in an endorsed commercial. who's fault is that? yours for not noticing it, or theirs for playing by the rules?


      Watch some of the medication commercials, especially some of the ones targeting baby boomers. You'll see happy seniors, frolicking through every day happy things, playing with puppies or children. All the while a 60 second sermon of side effects is being preached in the background. Advertisers try and hide the rules they need to play by the best they can.
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  • Profile picture of the author dukegman
    Guys, if we get into moralities then "business" altogether is not ethical. Let's think about it. What is business? Business is basically to buy something for cheap and make as much ROI from it as possible, right? So what we are talking about is that buy cheap and sell as high as possible. Just think about it for one sec. We all try to sell things as high as possible, but just limit the price due to the fear of customers not buying it. Let's consider an example here:

    Mr.X is selling a product (tangible good) which costs him $10 per item. He is selling it for $20 due to the competition and losing-customer fear. What if Mr.X had no competition, and his customers had no option other than paying him? He can sell that very same product for $50 in that case if he wants, as his customers has no other option. So do you think he wouldn't sell it for $50? I bet he will because that's what's called business, my friend! But now if we think deeply about it, that's not morally authentic right? He is pretty much looting people. But from business' point of view, he is doing exceptionally good with an ROI of 1000%.

    I'm sure now you know what I'm talking about. And just to clarify, I'm not approving "Fake Video Testimonials" (or even written ones) here. All I am saying is that don't base things on moralities when we all are here to do business! And under the light of fore-mentioned words, business has NOTHING to do with moralities. Fake video testimonials are just another method for boosting sales. It might be morally unauthentic but it is good for business. It can make a huge positive effect on someones' sales (can also be a bad strategy in some cases, but that's not the point).

    P.S Or maybe you wanna disagree with me here because you are one of those who are here to make this world a better place, yeah right! XD
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    • Profile picture of the author Rbtmarshall
      Don't confuse morality with ethics. Ethics are the rules in place for business' as a group, morality is how an individual interprets and uses or abuses those rules.
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  • Profile picture of the author troy23
    Dukegmaner...no not all of us rip people off with inflated product prices.
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