Recently, a corporate PR firm contacted a few of my all-time favorite female bloggers and sent them free samples of KY Sensual Mist Personal Lubricant. In exchange, all the women were asked to write a brief review of the product and post it on their sites. (Search their sites to find the reviews. They'll have you laughing your collective asses off. Plus, if you're not already reading these women, you really should be.)
Weirdly enough, I found myself a little envious that my female blogging compatriots were getting some free goodies and I wasn't. Not that I wanted any KY Mist or anything. BossLady and I prefer to use PAM Cooking Spray as a sexual lubricant. It's much cheaper and the smell of artificial butter always gets us in the mood.
Anyway, in a strange set of coincidences, I was approached a few weeks ago by several PR firms and asked to review various products that were being targeted specifically to men.
My first reaction was "Awesome! Free condoms for everyone!"
But surprisingly, these PR firms didn't want to send me condoms. They wanted to send me camcorders, digital cameras, DVD players, and PDAs. Holy freaking jackpot, Batman! This was a gadget geek's wet dream. So,trying to keep my cool, I started conversing with a few of these PR guys.
"So, let me get this straight. You're going to send me free shit and it's totally my decision whether I want to review it on my site?"
"That's pretty much it."
"You've read my site before, right? It's not really a product review blog. I usually just tell funny stories about drinking my wife's breast milk, feeding dog food to the baby, and waiting until the 7th inning stretch to change her diaper."
"Yes, we know. However, we think you have a great audience who would be interested in hearing your opinion about various products aimed at the parenting demographic."
"But what if I think the product sucks donkey ass? Do I have to write about it? Can I still keep the stuff?"
"Sign me up, sir. I'm in."
At first, I had some moral qualms about accepting free swag. What would my readers think? Was there a conflict of interest involved? Would I be beholden to the swag?
Then I realized I was being an idiot. This was not a moral quagmire. The war in Iraq, the right to abortion, gun control...THOSE are moral quagmires! This? This was just free stuff. Why was I overthinking it?
Anyway, the first product I received was a DVD camcorder. It looked very cool and shiny. However, the product manual was apparently written by the same people who work for Ikea. In other words, I'm pretty sure that they were translated from Japanese to English by someone who only speaks Swedish. When I figure out how to use it, I'll consider writing a review.
However, the next product I received was an Insignia Portable DVD Player sent to me by my new best friend Charlie (Some of you may know Charlie because he's also sent these DVD players to my blogging friends Mir and Lucinda. He's like the Patron Saint of bloggers.)
Anyway, I'd never heard of Insignia before. For all I knew, they were the Sony of Eastern Lithuania. Turns out they're a company based here in the U.S. of A...making their products in China. So needless to say, I was a bit skeptical when I received the DVD player. I had visions of the fake "Prata" bags sold down on Canal Street.
But you know what? This DVD player is actually pretty cool. It's nice and slim and has a full swivel screen. If you let your kids watch DVDs in the car, I'd imagine this one would work out just fine. It's also light enough for you varsity travelers and corporate sales jockeys to take on long plane rides. In fact, it even comes with a remote control (if you're too lazy to lift your arm 5" in any given direction.)
Here's a photo:
And, in all honesty, the greatest thing I love about this DVD player is that it's free!
So...thanks, BestBuy! Thanks, Insignia! And most of all, thanks, Charlie! If you happen to come across any sponsorships from Aston Martin, Johnnie Walker Scotch, or Phillip Morris? Let me know. I'm your man!
And readers...what do YOU think? Have I whored myself out completely? Will you still respect me in the morning? What do you think about the fact that marketers are starting to recognize blogs as way to garner press? Does it change your impression of this (or any other) site? Should I give all of you Charlie's e-mail address so you can get some swag too?
Because, now that he's been pimping, MetroDad feels like a Jigga-man, a Pimp-C and a B.U.N.B.