Corporate Sponsorship 2.0 Has a Face: Moms on a Road Trip


Via Guy Kawasaki’s blog:

What do Yahoo!, Chevy, SixApart, WeightWatchers, CBS, Zune, and five blogging moms have in common?

An insatiable hunger for publicity.

And a road trip.

Put it this way: A road trip driven by an insatiable hunger for publicity.

Here’s the plan. Pile 5 mom-cum-professional-bloggers in a Chevy Tahoe Hybrid. Have them drive across the country from Virginia to San Francisco in said Hybrid. The moms blog and record their adventures throughout.

The project is called Mom Road Trip. Coverage will occur online and on TV. Look for ads everywhere.

Official kick-off is July 11. The drive continues until all moms are picked up from their respective homes and end up at the BlogHer conference in the City by the Bay.

Current blogging activity indicates the moms can’t wait.

I thought, and thought, and thought about this project. I love the girlie, fun, escapist aspect of it. Overall, however, I have mixed feelings. Here’s my Love/Hate list:

Things I love about the Summer Road Trip:

–The “Mom Power” theme
–The fact that they’re driving a Hybrid
–The frank and entertaining blog posts
–The mash-up combination of old-fashioned (Trials of My Life) blogging and corporate-sponsored reality TV: It’s fun!

Things I hate about the Summer Road Trip:

–Insidious corporate logos and linking distract from quality content
–Why does it have to be a hybrid SUV? Why not a station wagon or something more economical in general?
–The mash-up combination of old-fashioned blogging–an intimate endeavour–and corporate-sponsored reality TV: I thought bloggers were more venerable than reality TV stars, based on the fact that they were more literate. There goes that perception.

In sum, I adore the moms, but can’t shake the spooky sellout feeling behind the project.

(I also just finished a rattling futuristic satire called Feed, and have become temporarily obsessed with the corporate indoctrination of the human identity.)

Thoughts, anyone?

  • I don’t like the idea. Too much corporate BS. Will dilute it down to drivel. Imagine;

    This pee break brought to you by Tampex

    It’s gonna suck!

  • Ryan

    Reminds me of the college students who had their entire tuition payed in exchange for effectively being walking billboard’s for credit card companies. They were covered all over the press and probably helped destroy plenty of college students’ financial history forever.

  • Isn’t this just called travel writing? I’m not sure where the story is to justify any hype.

    That aside, I’m all for monetizing a blog (it’s how I make a living after all), but yeaaa, is it really your blog any more if someone is giving you a bunch of stuff and telling you to blog about it? It’d feel more like a job to me. What happens if the sponsors don’t like what you write? Hm.

  • Joanne

    Dude, the trip has not begun yet. As you can see, they are taking off on Friday. I would hold judgement until after the trip. I have been to their sites and have followed many of them on the web for years. I have a hard time believing that this is “project sellout”. Looks like they took corporate dollars to make the trip happen.

    I am holding judgement. The content that they have put up so far is pretty funny. Hope it continues in that direction, and not a pimp fest for GM.

    I actually like the fact that it is a hybrid.

    Just my few cents.