If, like me, you follow a lot of big name UK bloggers on social media (it’s work OK?) then you’ll have noticed that over the past couple of weeks blogger press trips have been, for want of a better word, ON. No one in the beauty world could have missed the most insane mascara launch cropping up on Instagram. Though, it may have taken you a while to realise what the launch was even for. Call me old fashioned but hanging out on a private beach doesn’t exactly scream *new mascara alert*.
Press trips aren’t new. For years, before blogging was even a thing, journalists have been whisked away to various locations by brands to teach them about new products in the hope of being featured in papers and magazines. These days however it’s not done so discretely. In fact, it’s all up in your face. Brands spend thousands upon thousands for expensive trips for bloggers and press and have no concern about sharing the extravagance online. In fact they encourage it. You can literally see what the money you pay when you buy from your favourite brand is going towards. Thanks to you handing over your cash in Boots, brands can afford to pay for a bloggers all expenses paid trip in the hope that you, again, can put your hard earned cash back in the brand to do it all over again.
I in no way blame the bloggers, or ‘influencers’ if you like that term, for jumping at the opportunity to travel to exotic locations that for most of us we could only dream of going to, all in exchange for some beautiful content. I would never question how hard bloggers work to garner such opportunities. However the more extravagant trips away I see, the more unrelateable I find the person I’m following, in the same way I have no interest in watching a designer handbag collection video. If I had those opportunities I would do the same, but for the majority of their audience a lot of what we are now seeing is worlds away from their everyday life. Maybe that’ just me, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who love to follow those with crazy aspirational lives but I’m more interested in what Hannah Gale had for breakfast this morning than what hotel in the Maldives someone is staying at.
On a sidenote, maybe one for another time, is it a coincidence that the bloggers who are invited on these trips all have beautiful bikini bodies? Or were they picked because they really are the best beauty bloggers out there? I’m waiting for Grace Victory‘s blog post on this…
Coming from a PR perspective you have to wonder what the payoff is from these ‘out of this world’ trips. Is seeing your favourite blogger on a luxury yacht going to convince you to buy a beauty product? Maybe for some it would. But how many would people have to buy to cover the expenses of said trip? Surely the persuasive factor in buying beauty products should be the results? I’d be much more inclined to buy something I’ve seen real before and after photos of, or heard a real discussion about it’s pros and cons, rather than something that has been so over hyped it almost seems like it’s compensating for something. It’s like not watching Game of Thrones because everyone keeps going on about how amazing it is. Some things can be so hyped up that it puts you off. I can’t relate to a fantasy world of dragons and white walkers (yes I had to Google that) and I can’t relate to tanned bodies in bikinis partying in the Carribbean. Totally the same, right?
Here are some very informative and interesting blog posts from others on the subject: