So this is the shoot I mentioned last week and was waiting to share with you – it was an interesting few days, to say the least.
What do I think of the article? I mean, I’m more than aware that how social media has altered the face of advertising is an issue that’s both interesting and divisive; I was anticipating a balanced exploration of the topic, and for the most part I think that’s what I think that’s what was presented. I think the headline is a little sensationalist, but hey, that’s just how it goes.
An excerpt: “Reid blogs about fashion, food and home decor as well as life with her husband Kendrick and her son, and a growing number of companies are paying her to photograph, tweet and write about how she uses their products and what she thinks of them and to present them on her blog, in her style…Of all the changes wrought by social media, few underscore the growing reach of the individual–and the continuing fragmentation of culture–like the rise of Reid and others like her. They are the microcelebrities, the spiritual successors of flash-in-the-pan reality-TV stars but with followings that often number in the thousands rather than the millions, and some marketers, looking for cost-effective ways to reach specific audiences, are desperate to tap into their power.”
The short of it is that I think that the fact that marketing efforts have turned towards the digital space to the degree that they have is a completely fascinating development mostly because the potential of these integrations is changing – and (from what I’ve seen, at least) becoming more creative and involved – every single day. Is having bloggers work with brands the commodification of a space that should be purely editorial? I don’t even think that’s really a question for most people anymore; it seems to me that there’s an understanding that websites have in many cases become virtual magazines in which both editorial content and advertorial content co-exist.
But beyond straightforward ads or even product placements, what we’re talking about are collaborations. Writing copy, producing videos, hosting events, styling lookbooks, photographing and editing stories; pairing a particular blogger’s unique skill set (whatever that may be) with the aesthetic of a brand, and seeing what can emerge. It’s been an exciting thing to be a part of, and my feeling is that so long as readers understand how and where and why brands are involved with sites that they frequent, watching relationships develop with companies that both the readers and the bloggers (hopefully) personally enjoy and feel are accessible is interesting and fun.
However you slice it, it’s fascinating stuff.
Article is available for Time subscribers online here and in the Business section of the subscriber version of the magazine starting today.
Some behind-the-scenes shots from last week’s photo shoot: