Just Sherring

Yes, Sponsored Ads Work. I’m Exhibit A

I’ve been wrestling with retail therapy for years. So much so that earlier this year, my therapist suggested I try not shopping for non-essentials until August. It was doable. I was determined. Then the damn pandemic hit. All rules went out the window. Even then, I held on as long as I could (a few weeks) before I cracked.

A Cuisinart air fryer, a Kitchen Aid mixer, a food processor were some of the big ticket items I clicked to add to cart. My justification? They fell in line with my new hobby/self-care of baking and cooking, which I’ve done a lot of during the shutdown. I’m such a cliché because other people are doing the same. If the pandemic were a prom, sourdough and banana bread would be Prom King and Queen. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t also order clothing, skin and hair care products and other smaller kitchen gadgets, like a lemon zester.

I was making great use of my NYPL membership via Libby and borrowing audiobooks on a consistent basis. I’ll actually reach, if not surpass, my Goodreads goal this year. Leading up to Juneteenth, there was a huge social media push to support Black businesses and amplify Black Art. I did my part by purchasing and posting two paperback essay collections by Black authors from a Black-owned bookstore. Since then, I’ve ordered 2 or 3 other books. One to get the pre-order swag (pair of earrings), the other for book club, soooo not as altruistic as before, but kudos to me for still supporting, right?

Every week or every other week, my landlord would text me that I received another package. I let it sit out in the hallway for a week or so to de-Corona before I brought it in unbox. Reactions varied from pleasantly surprised to WTF? Most of the time, I know exactly where and why I want to log on and shop, however, I’ve fallen victim to pesky social media sponsored ads. In one case, it was a podcast sponsored ad. A list of sponsored ads to which I’ve succumbed during this pandemic:

  • Fenty Beauty face washing starter kit
  • Maniology nail art
  • Dr. Seuss masks (Cat in the Hat & Grinch)
  • African print mask
  • Black Lives Matter masks
  • Floor cushion
  • Produce-washing tub with a stopper for draining
  • Booty short sets (for lounging)
  • Tie-dyed form-fitting onesies (for lounging)
  • Afrocentric shirt dress (even my cousin forwarded to me because it’s so me)
  • Flamingo print PJs (because, why not?)
  • Shoes
  • Anti-microbial body scrubber
  • Causebox subscription (love it!)
  • New podcasts, including the Michelle Obama Podcast
  • Protein powder
  • Hair care (full shebang: shampoo, conditioner, deep condition mask, hair milk, oil, pomade)
  • Shea body butters

I’m sure there are missing items. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars. Some are completely new products and one-offs. Others are products that I already consume, but the sponsored ad announced a hard-to-resist sale. The upside to these purchases is that I earned credit card points, sometimes double. When outside opens again and the US passport isn’t the laughingstock of the planet, I’ll use those points to purchase a plane ticket somewhere. I’ll be sure to pack my skincare and new outfits and listen to the podcasts during the flight.


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