Do Your Research

I feel like I’ve been extra-cynical and/or critical on the blog lately. It’s weird, because I don’t feel any more of either in my daily life; usually those things tend to coincide.

A vlogger I follow published a comparison video between the Clarisonic Mia and the Foreo Luna (made by the people who make the Issa and the Moda). I was interested, because I hadn’t really seen much in the way of a comparison between the two (but I also hadn’t really looked).

So I watch, and by the end of the video, I’m facepalming. The video was sponsored (which is fine, in and of itself) and the personality was clearly in favor of the Luna (again, fine). What wasn’t fine? Her utter lack of any kind of knowledge about one of the two products she was, “comparing.”

I hesitate to even call it a comparison because to suggest that it was would imply that she actually knew the properties of the Clarisonic. What the content creator shows and suggests is a Clarisonic Mia is in fact a Clarisonic Plus; she did not seem to have much experience with the device itself. While she knew that the Clarisonic she was holding (again, Clarisonic PLUS) used a charging cradle (which could be inconvenient), she insisted it had only one speed. Well yes, the actual Clarisonic Mia only features one speed…but she did not have a Mia. Her device ought to have three speeds, in fact – so did she never use the device she’s decrying? Did she just search Google for, “Clarisonic Mia,” and read (some of) a chart of its features?

Do Your Research - Clarisonic Plus, left; Clarisonic Mia, right.

For your reference, good reader – on the left is a Clarisonic Plus, and the right is a classic Clarisonic Mia. I own a Clarisonic Mia 2.

Among other things, she seemed convinced that it spun.

Not a single device made by Clarisonic spins.
Period, end of story, they do not spin.

Someone watching remarked that she ought to do more research. Some other subscribers ran to her defense; one chimed in that her sister bought a spinning Clarisonic. No, in fact she did not, because such a device does not exist.

Unsure? Here’s the page on Clarisonic’s official site discussing their technology.

It’s frustrating – people come to trust the advice and input of some of individuals. I think content creators are doing a disservice all around when they publish nonsense like this.

  • To their viewers – If your subscribers come to watch or read what sounds like an informative video or post based on the title you gave it, you should at least try to do your research before filming so you can actually speak to the properties of the product(s) you are comparing. Especially in the case of individuals derive income from these things (she does), understand that your viewers and subscribers are who get you that paycheck. Do your research before creating content like this – you owe it to them.
  • To their sponsor – I don’t know who sponsored the video. It could have been Foreo, it could have been Sephora. Regardless – put yourself in the sponsor’s shoes. You approach a well-liked content creator about an opportunity. The creator agrees to create content that meets whatever requirements – say ,a comparison between Product A and Product B. Even if, as a brand, I am seeking Product A to be painted in a more favorable light than Product B…it does not do well to provide inaccurate information about Product B to achieve that end. That isn’t a solid strategy, it isn’t professional…and while young people whose only job has been YouTube aren’t necessarily beacons of professionalism, I think being associated via sponsorship with that kind of lazy, poorly-researched production doesn’t do a brand justice. Do your research before creating content like this – they are paying you, but not for things like that.
  • To herself – This was an easy opportunity to begin with. She could have nailed this with less than ten minutes of research, but instead she took the easy way out and basically made things up. Your sponsor expected a review from someone who has actual experience with both products, which did not seem to be the case. This compromises her integrity to both her viewers and to other brands. Do your research before creating content like this – you owe it to yourself. You are your brand. Do you want your brand to be identified with making things up just to get sponsorships? Hell no you don’t.

I will not link to the video in question because although the bulk of this post pertains to the video I watched, my complaints are not exclusive to it. This is not the first time a shoddy video has been posted, it will not be the last time. It’s disappointing – but it goes to show you that just because someone happens to be good at makeup doesn’t mean they can be counted on for solid information. As a content consumer, I recommend checking multiple sources for information.

Those of you writing blogs and filming vlogs: do your research. People are seeking your content for a reason.

What's on your mind?