Fashion blogs have seen no shortage of partnerships and sponsorships in recent months, like The Selby and Louis Vuitton or Mark “The Cobrasnake” Hunter and Helmet Lang. But a new wave of product promotion via fashion blog is making for some unlikely pairings. Take Orbit, which just enlisted a handful of well-known sartorial documentarians to highlight their chewing gum for a 5-post sponsorship. I first noticed the very prominent spotlighting of the product on Jazzi McG’s style blog, a site that offers DIY tutorials and photos of the blogger’s personal style. Next, I found Orbit popping up on Mister Mort’s street style blog and on Phil Oh’s Street Peeper.
Surely a marriage of convenience; there’s no denying Orbit has little influence or relevance in the fashion world. Partnering with prominent fashion bloggers seems a bit forced. I have to commend each of the aforementioned bloggers for announcing the collaboration and not trying to subtly highlight a product that’s almost definitely financially supporting them in some way. The right move, it turns out: at least in the case of Jazzi’s blog, there was no protest from her readers. In 21 comments the only debate was over what flavor Orbit people preferred. Of the collaboration Jazzi says, “I respect the integrity they approached me with and also their marketing scheme from a creative perspective. We tend to keep gum in our bags or pocket, so it makes sense to show off the new package designs via a style channel. In many ways it speaks for itself.” It’s by no means the first time Jazzi has been approached. Of most proposals sent her direction, she says, “I reject most of the things that come my way because I find many companies are inherently trying to take advantage of me or my audience.” And these offers are coming “very regularly and increasingly often.” But back to the Orbit sponsorship. As she eloquently states in her defense: “I absolutely respect an ad-free/sponsor-free site, but I’m personally prepared to put a dollar sign on my creativity—albeit at my discretion. I’ve got bills to pay.”
Photo courtesy of Mister Mort