Ads and Demos

If you came here looking for my post on the demo skin and the Photoshopped ad, I took it down. Not because I was pressured to, because if you know me, you know I would have kept it up and posted it EVERY-FREAKIN-WHERE if I’d been told to take it down. *laughs* But I took it down because I feel like people, including the creator of the ad itself, missed the point I was trying to make entirely.

If you are a creator and you sell your items for money, you owe it to your customers to not do false advertising. As pretty as you can make an ad with Photoshop and filters and morphing, you are doing a GREAT disservice to your customers AND to your brand by making a completely fancy ad that looks absolutely nothing like what you’re selling. Although some people showed me how they looked in the exact same skin and shape that I demoed, they did not look like the girl in the ad for that particular skin and shape. They did not, and I think they could agree with that. The creator of the ad IMed me and told me that yes, she draws digitally using a tablet. And that’s cool. I thought she actually did a pretty decent job. She was hired to do something and this is not her fault that what’s in the box is not really on the ad.

When you put something up for sale and you expect to be given money for it, the person giving you that money expects to get the right item. This is why vendor ads in SL should not be overly photoshopped. It’s why, in my opinion, bloggers should not do too much photoshopping if they have gotten an item for review. If you digitally retouch an item until it no longer looks like it does in world, you need to put a disclaimer that that is what you did. Otherwise, you are cheating people who expect that item to look just like it does in your photo. And let’s remember that a great many bloggers and creators have higher end computers that support ultra graphics, but the every day Second Lifer may not and things don’t always look even half as good to them. I do Photoshop my blog photos, as most bloggers do, but never to alter the item in a huge way. AND – and let me make this very very clear – if there is a demo available, you NEED TO DEMO. I have been burned many times by not taking 5 minutes to demo an item before buying it and then being disappointed when it does not meet my expectations. Had I wanted to look just like the ad in question, I would have been severely disappointed if I’d not demoed the skin and shape beforehand. And long time SLers know this. But someone new to the grid may not, and those are the people that you as a creator want to grab. Long time SLers have their faves already that they are dedicated to. Newcomers are still deciding who their faves are. You want to grab them and sway the long time people to your brand. Having your ads photoshopped to death and back is not the way to do this.

Anyway, I didn’t expect my post to be so controversial. 🙂 This is a personal SL blog, it’s not on any feeds, and the skins were just something we were joking about on Plurk on Sunday. I kind of didn’t expect more than a few people to read my post, so I was pretty surprised to see that it got as many views as it did. And I know many people went down to the store to check out the demo for themselves, so all publicity is good publicity, am I right?

So TL;DR version? False advertising = Bad. Demoing = Good.


6 thoughts on “Ads and Demos

  1. I didn’t see anything wrong with your 1st blog post on this. I agreed with you then and I still agree. Let the vendor ad reflect the true product that we are going to get when we purchase your items.

  2. I agreed with your first post… Actually… many of creators out there using “heavy” photoshop+morphing for their’s ads.. Like U***e… S*****i…etc… Just… What u have posted before, it is really help many people out there especially… newbies.. And even old timers.. they NEED to try the DEMOs before buy it… I am a Creator/Editor/Photographer too for BDESIGNX… And i love morphing.. But to do morph or “heavy” photoshop for my ads, never.. Even for the future if i create my skin/shape products… Not everyone will blame you for whatever you trying to say about this… They just need to THINK and CHOOSE which one better. Just my 2 cents.. ^_^

  3. Firstly, just want to say that I love the way you write and I found myself nodding my head A LOT over many of your posts that I have read so far (only found you via Gogo yesterday).

    I don’t PS my blog photos for the very reason that I try to represent what the item is as I see it in world. What people see on my blog is what I see in world, including my choice in Windlights. I do appreciate good post processing to make the whole picture (not the items) more pleasing, but for me, my blog is mostly editorial so I share opinions on whether I recommend an item or why not – and I can’t really do that if I post process beyond cropping/condensing.

    Anyway, your point about demos is an excellent one. I am still guilty of not demoing items all the time; mostly because I know the designer’s work and/or I am at a crowded event and can’t change easily. I always try to note when an item doesn’t meet my expectations but I didn’t demo it, so it’s really my fault in the end.

    Wow I just babbled a long while. Sorry about that!

  4. I understood your post and I also totally understand why you’d remove it. Sometimes giving an honest opinion invites a lot of feedback – both negative and positive – that can lead to unforeseen drama we really weren’t expecting or welcoming ourselves.

    ~In any case: at the risk of getting myself in trouble – I also think bloggers should add a disclaimer somewhere visible on their sites if they use a lot of photoshop because sometimes artistic vision doesn’t translate realistically when it comes to product representation. I’ve added such disclaimer to the sidebar of my own site so that I don’t end up potentially misleading people when they purchase something they’ve seen in my photos:

    “Image editing may be used in the photos for atmospheric and/or creative purposes. Please demo any items of interest before purchase: Caveat emptor – let the buyer beware. “

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